Literature

Dystopian dreams: how feminist science fiction predicted the future

From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, feminist science fiction writers have imagined other ways of living that prompt us to ask, could we do things differently?<p>Margaret Atwood’s evergreen dystopian novel <i>The Handmaid’s Tale</i> is about to become a television drama. Published in 1985, it couldn’t feel …

Books

'Girl In Disguise' Is A Spunky Spy Saga

Pluck. Kate Warne, the heroine of Greer Macallister's detective romp, <i>Girl in Disguise</i>, personifies the attribute (I hear an echo here of Mr. Grant on <i>The Mary Tyler Moore Show</i>, informing Mary she has "spunk," before dropping the other shoe. "I hate spunk.") Warne was in real life the first woman …

The alt-right is coming for Jane Austen

Welcome back to the weekly Vox book link roundup, a curated collection of the best recent writing on books and related subjects. Here’s the best the internet has to offer for the week of March 19, 2017.<p>The white supremacists of the self-described alt-right have added Jane Austen to the list of …

Books

5 fantastic Beauty and the Beast adaptations that go beyond Disney

The fairy tale of “Beauty and the Beast” lends itself gorgeously to adaptation: The set pieces are lavish and iconic (the enchanted castle! the rose!), the beats are familiar but always compelling, and the central love story can shade into redemptive joy or pitch darkness with minimal disruption …

Beauty and the Beast

The Love Letters of Manly Men

Flowers, trinkets, borrowed sweaters and other reminders of our romantic past may get tossed out. But love letters, for those lucky enough to receive them, are different. They are more likely tucked in a wallet or safeguarded in a box under the bed.<p>Increasingly rare in an age when affection is more …

Opinion

Fahrenheit 2017

<i>This post was originally published on obraartifact.com.</i><p><i>“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.</i> <i>Just get people to stop reading them.”</i> <i>– Ray</i> …

Books

How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution

The father of the Soviet Union was also a Latin buff who adored Goethe and liked to compare his enemies to figures in novels<p>Literature shaped the political culture of the Russia in which Vladimir Ilyich Lenin grew up. Explicitly political texts were difficult to publish under the tsarist regime. …

Books

A Farewell To Arms: A Vintage Radio Drama (1948)

NBC University Theatre took to the radio airwaves from 1948 to 1950 and featured adaptations of classic novels. Incorporated into college home-study …

Books

The Rules Do Not Apply

<b>A gorgeous memoir about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention—for readers of Cheryl Strayed and Joan Didion</b><p>When …

Books

Lisa See explores culture of Chinese hill tribe in new novel

Since 1991, when China’s one-child policy was in full force, 120,000 Chinese children — mostly girls — have been adopted abroad, including 85,000 in …

St. Louis

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant review – history you can see, hear and smell

The latest instalment in a bravura Renaissance series offers a new perspective on two of history’s most notorious figures, Lucrezia Borgia and Niccolò Machiavelli<p>Recent advances in malice and technology have encouraged the new industry of “reputation management”, in which strategies and algorithms …

Books

Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review<p>Fiction<p>Turkish Delight<p>by Jan Wolkers, trans. by Sam Garrett<p>Jan Wolkers's 1969 novel <i>Turks Fruit</i> was translated from the Dutch into many …

Books

Announced Plenary Speaker: Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 <i>New York Times</i> bestselling memoir <i>Wild</i>, the <i>New York Times</i> bestsellers <i>Tiny Beautiful Things</i> and <i>Brave Enough</i>, and …

Books

You Know What You Could Be review – a Scottish tale of psychedelic folk

This enjoyable joint memoir by Mike Heron and Andrew Greig has at its centre late 60s hippiedom and the Incredible String Band<p>This book is a freak, a fairground mermaid, half monkey, half fish. It is therefore entirely in keeping with its subject, the Incredible String Band, the 1960s group that …

Books

Battle Borne: J.L. Murray on Writing 'Monstrous'

<i>J.L. Murray is known for dark speculative fiction that is poignant and insightful, and has been known to make grown men weep. Readers fall in love</i> …

Books

Our daughter died. Now she lives in the pages of a romantic novel

In 2003, Alice Martineau was on the brink of a successful pop career when she died, aged 30, of cystic fibrosis. Now her family have given permission for her inspiring life story to be fictionalised<p>In November 2014, an email pinged into Luke Martineau’s inbox from Alice Peterson, someone he had …

Books

William Wootten · At The Thirteenth Hour: David Jones

At The Thirteenth Hour<p>William Wootten<p>Wedding Poems by David Jones, edited by Thomas Dilworth<br>Enitharmon, 88 pp, £12.00, April 2002, ISBN 1 900564 87 …

History

My ‘wild child’ cousin, the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington

Throughout her childhood, Joanna Moorhead never heard a good word from her family about her cousin. When she went to Mexico she found out why she had abandoned them 60 years ealier<p>In most families the ghosts are dead but in my family, somewhere out there, our ghost was still alive. Her name was …

Books

Relive Your College Years With This Thoughtful, Hilarious Novel

"The Idiot" immerses readers in a Harvard student’s thwarted, anxiety-filled freshman year.<p>During the first winter of Selin Karadağ’s undergraduate career at Harvard, she’s walking through campus with her friend Svetlana when she runs into a linguistics classmate. “‘Hey Selin, how’s it going,’ he …

Art

Scarlett Thomas: Why I was wrong about children’s fiction

Once, I banned my students from writing them. Now I see the magic and joy in children’s stories<p>It was a mild early summer’s day, with buttercups everywhere. I was map reading and my partner was driving. We were somewhere in West Sussex, on a country road because I couldn’t cope with the harsh rush …

Books

Jami Attenberg: ‘I wanted to see if there were other happy endings for single women’

The US writer on epic plots, small moments and creating tricky, independent heroines<p>In her new novel, <i>All Grown Up</i>, Jami Attenberg has done what many long assumed to be impossible: she has coined a smart and original take on the single woman in a big city. Just when the shtick seemed hopelessly …

Books

The unbearable sadness of bookshelves

CD collections were expensive and fragile but gave us clues to each other. With the disappearance of physical music, a guest in a strange home must …

Books

Winner of the Prix Goncourt, 'Compass' by Mathias Enard is brilliant and frustrating

Mathias Enard’s first novel published in English, “Zone” (2010), takes the form of a 500-page-long sentence, the internal monologue of a French Croatian spy on a train to the Vatican to sell a trove of secrets. His second, “Street of Thieves” (2014), is told from the point of view of a young …

Books

On Our Nightstands: What Electric Lit Is Reading This Week

From Javier Marías to <b>Louise Erdrich,</b> here are the books our staff is currently enjoying<p><b>All Souls by Javier Marías</b><p>I’m reading <i>All Souls</i> by Javier …

Books

This bookshop is encouraging people to read literary classics using click-bait headlines

We live in a time when more people are scrolling through their social media feeds and browsing on the Internet than reading books and visiting …

Books

Where to Start with Flannery O'Connor

Author Flannery O'Connor and her childhood home in Savannah, Georgia. Photos via Wikimedia. March 25 marks the birthday of author Flannery O'Connor, …

Books

George Orwell Wrote '1984' While Dying of Tuberculosis

<i>1984</i> is probably the best-known dystopian novel, and it was written by a man whose own life turned into a dystopia while he composed it.<p>In 1946, …

Books

My 10 Favorite Books: Niki Caro

For his bookshop and website One Grand Books, the editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island. The next in the series is Niki Caro, director of “The Zookeeper’s Wife” starring Jessica Chastain, which opens in theaters this …

Books

First Look: See Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas

It didn’t require the appearance of three ghosts from different temporal planes to persuade Dan Stevens to play <i>Christmas Carol</i> author Charles Dickens in the film <i>The</i> <i>Man Who Invented Christmas</i> (out this holiday season).<p>“It was a really spooky, intriguing, funny piece,” the British star of <i>Beauty and</i> …

Movies

100 Biographies and Memoirs of Remarkable Women

I still remember when I discovered Helen Keller. I stumbled across a children’s biography at my elementary school’s library and I was obsessed. I …

Books