Popular Fiction

Exploring the Disorienting Strangeness of City Life in Renee Gladman’s Ravicka

“A plane dropped a building on the Twin Towers.” That’s what Tony, a busybody in my fourth-grade class, had heard an administrative assistant whisper …

New York City

The “Inscrutable” Voices of Asian-Anglophone Fiction

The narrator of Weike Wang’s début novel, “Chemistry,” published earlier this year, is an unnamed female chemistry Ph.D. student navigating American academia and modern romance. She is also the daughter of ambitious Chinese parents who immigrated to the United States after the Cultural Revolution. …

Culture

New Short Fiction By Maggie Shipstead: "Acknowledgements"

"In the corporeal sense, I entered the world on April 11, 1980, via C-section, at Hart County General Hospital, up near the tip of Michigan’s bemittened middle finger, not far from where Hemingway spent his boyhood summers." A new short story for our "Dark Times" series.<p><b>I haven’t seen Ivy</b> <b>in</b> nearly …

Books

How to Keep Language Authentic in Historical Fiction

Depicting characters from the past authentically, and portraying their use of language, are two of the elements that make writing historical fiction so very much more difficult than writing straight history.<p>Time periods remote from our own often present us with beliefs and customs so different that …

Historical Fiction

The Freedman’s Story

An escaped slave tells his story—including his account of his violent showdown with slave-catchers in Pennsylvania.<p><b>PART I.</b><p>(Read Part II, March 1866)<p><i>The manuscript of the following pages has been handed to me with the request that I would revise it for publication, or weave its facts into a story</i> …

Historical Fiction

From Low Life Noir to Tragic Flight: John Haskell’s The Complete Ballet

By Des Barry.<p>John Haskell, <i>The Complete Ballet: A Fictional Essay in Five Acts</i> (Graywolf Press, 2017)<p>When I saw the title of John Haskell’s book <i>The</i> …

Ballet

Joseph Conrad’s Journey

In March, 1893, John Galsworthy—a product of Harrow and Oxford who had recently passed the English bar exam—was boarding the passenger ship Torrens, in Port Adelaide, when he noticed a small man with black hair boisterously loading cargo. In a letter home, a month into the voyage, he described “a …

Literature

The Pain Woman: A Conversation with Barbara Gowdy - Los Angeles Review of Books

<i>CANADIAN LITERATURE does not have the immediate appeal of the “exotic” that some readers might be searching for when they stray from the comfort of</i> …

Books

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time (Winter 2017 Edition)

Inspired by Lit Hub’s 100 rejections per year post, my goal was to make at least 50 submissions in 2017. Since my last contest roundup, I’m at 108 …

Authors

“A Man and a Woman, Say What You Like, They’re Different”: On Marguerite Duras

Marguerite wasn’t always Duras. She was born Donnadieu, but with the publication of her first novel, “Les Impudents,” in 1943, she went from Donnadieu to Duras and stayed that way. She chose, as her alias, the village of her father’s origins, distancing herself from her family, and binding herself …

Culture

Flash Fiction Challenge: Predictive Text Fun

So, I love the predictive text meme, where you tell a short little story or poem or sentence based on the predictive text your phone or mobile device …

Flash Fiction

Ghosts, Literal and Figurative, Haunt Magda Szabo’s Novel

<b>KATALIN STREET</b><br>By Magda Szabo<br>Translated by Len Rix<br>235 pp. New York Review Books. Paper, $15.95.<p>Like many American readers, I was first introduced to Magda Szabo’s work when New York Review Books reissued the Hungarian master’s profound and haunting novel “The Door.” Luckily for us, they have not …

Books

Kurt Vonnegut’s Love-Hate Relationship with Science Fiction

In <i>Back to School</i>, Rodney Dangerfield’s character Thornton Melon is assigned a paper on Kurt Vonnegut’s novels. Melon shirks responsibility and …

Kurt Vonnegut

7 Captivating Historical Fantasy Books

Not all warriors were men. Image via creative commons licenseThe post originally published at The Portalist.Fantasy books have the ability to …

Books

5 More Science Fiction Classics Optioned for Film

Filmmakers are always looking for the Next Big Thing, but sometimes the Next Big Thing is something that's been around for decades. Here's a roundup …

Literature

Seeing the Hopeful Side of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

I can chart the progress of my life through the types of apocalypse I have feared. As a child, the endings I imagined were natural, even cosmic: the …

Books

Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards » NI Lit Award for Speculative Fiction

NI Lit Award for Speculative Fiction<p>1 • <b>The Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Speculative Fiction</b><p>Submission Requirements<p>(2 copies and if …

Books

This Weird Third Thing - Los Angeles Review of Books

<i>IN ADAM STERNBERGH’S latest novel,</i> The Blinds<i>, readers are welcomed to the small, mysterious town of Caesura — and pulled into a tale littered with</i> …

Books

V International Flash Fiction Competition – $20,000 prize!

There is a new Flash Fiction competition…a V International one… run by<p>Fundación César Egido Serrano<p>The 5th Edition of the International Prize for …

Flash Fiction

Hybrid Genres: Using Strong Research & Imagination to Blend Genres

I write a detective fiction series set in World War II Britain. My lead character, Detective Chief Inspector Frank Merlin, is a tough and experienced …

German History

A Poet, with Prison Behind Him, Becomes an Attorney

Late Friday afternoon, in a small, sleepy, windowless fourth-floor courtroom at the New Haven State Superior Court, an official cried, “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!,” as Judge Omar Williams arrived from Hartford to conduct the final business of the week. Williams looked out upon two rows of pew-like wooden …

Culture

Announcing the 2017 World Fantasy Award Winners

The winners for the 2017 World Fantasy Awards have been announced! This year’s award ceremony was held at the World Fantasy Convention, November 2-5, …

Science Fiction

Philip Roth, Patriot

How the writer came to embrace the contradictions of a national identity.<p>Philip Roth’s new collection of nonfiction, mostly writing about writing and about other writers, is called, with Rothian bluntness, “Why Write?” (Library of America). It’s the first nonfiction collection Roth has produced in …

Books

Andrés Barba on Such Small Hands

<i>Granta’s Josie Mitchell talked to Andrés Barba about</i> <i>his new book,</i> Such Small Hands, <i>Gothic and Greek Literature, and how he approaches writing from a</i> …

Great Books

Where Is the Thing We’re Chasing? Renee Gladman and Her Invented City of Ravicka - Los Angeles Review of Books

RENEE GLADMAN and I sat at the kitchen table in her beautiful red barn drinking green tea, the natural light profuse even on a rainy day. She told me …

Books

Thomas McGuane on Writing in Free Fall

<i>There seems to be more than one riddle in “Riddle,” your story in this week’s issue. Do you know the answers to them?</i><p>There is just one riddle, and it winds through the story in both directions. At the sight of the old cowboy, the narrator is tempted to imagine one story and, with the appearance of …

Books

SPY Guide: The 13 Best Horror Novels of All Time

These stories will make the hair on your arms jump after turning a page at night or day. If you’re looking for a story that will push your …

Shopping

The Case of Isabel Archer

Mrs. Osmond<p>by John Banville<p>Knopf, 369 pp., $27.95<p>It is twenty-seven years since John Bayley, writing in these pages about John Banville’s seventh …

Books

The Crazy Back-Stories of 5 Famous Books

The Story Behind The StorySourceAbandon All Hopelessness, Ye Who Enter Here –Anonymous, Found scribbled on a notecard at The Mission HQ1.The man’s …

Authors

How to Write an Expository Essay

Expository writing is used to convey information. It is the language of learning and understanding the world around us. If you've ever read an …

Writing