Literary Hub10 min letti
A Day In The Life Of A Lion Tracker
Behind the wheel of the Landy, the engine sputters and chokes as I fire the ignition. A little puff of smoke in the clear air and we are off. Alex sits next to me and Renias sits up on a seat welded to the hood called the tracker seat. Cats often tra
Literary Hub5 min letti
The Trial of Harry Houdini
Harry Houdini’s favorite escape was not an escape at all. It was a fight for honor. The odds really were against him, and skills he had perfected as an escape artist were of little use to him. But he won just the same, and Houdini never tired of tell
Literary Hub6 min letti
The Gloriously Understated Career of Elaine Stritch
On the afternoon of November 17th, 2014, hundreds of people made their way through a dark rain toward the Al Hirschfeld Theater on West Forty-Fifth Street in New York City. Settling with a certain expectant jollity into its plush red seats were actor
Literary Hub12 min letti
Alejandro Zambra On One Of The Great Diarists Of The 20th Century
It’s not easy to get a fix on Julio Ramon Ribeyro’s own face, since his appearance changed a lot from one photo to another: his hair long or short or half grown-out, with or without a cigarette, with or without a mustache, wearing a serious expressio
Literary Hub4 min letti
On the Darkness, Strangeness, and Unbridled Joy of Children’s Books
The first novel I published with a major house was about a murder I covered as a reporter when I was in my early twenties. The victim, who was my age, and lived in my neighborhood, disappeared in the winter and her body was found in the summer in a s
Literary Hub10 min letti
On the Countercultural Influence of Peanuts
Here’s where it begins for me: a four-panel strip, Lucy and Linus, simplest narrative in the universe. As the sequence starts, we see Lucy skipping rope and, like an older sister, giving Linus a hard time. “You a doctor! Ha! That’s a big laugh!” she
Literary Hub5 min letti
Capturing Natural Coincidences, in Fiction and Life
At around 10:30 pm on October 9, 1963, a huge chunk of Monte Toc in northeastern Italy sheared off and dropped into an artificial lake created by the Vajont dam, constructed several years earlier. A marvel of modern engineering tucked into the cleft
Literary Hub7 min letti
Do Printed-Out Emails Count As Letters? (Yes)
Lifting the lid from the thin gold box, I found my anniversary gift: a stack of papyrus-style paper on which my husband had printed the email correspondence of our early courtship. Well, half of it. During the 90s, emails were not yet recorded in con
Literary Hub3 min letti
Chill Your Wine in John Steinbeck’s Silver Bucket
John Steinbeck, who won both a Pulitzer Prize (in 1940 for The Grapes of Wrath) and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, died 51 years ago, and yet he is still making news. Last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that legal squabbling over his l
Literary Hub8 min letti
On the Sexist Reception of Willa Cather’s World War I Novel
When Willa Cather’s fifth novel, One of Ours, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1923, it was divisive among critics. Reviewing the book in The Smart Set, H.L. Mencken wrote that the first half, which is about protagonist Claude Weaver’s young adult years on
Literary Hub7 min letti
The Diplomatic Gambit That Opened Cuba Up to the World
By the mid-1970s Fidel Castro’s relationship with the United States remained confrontational and diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US had not been restored. When Jimmy Carter was elected president of the United States in 1976, however, he bro
Literary Hub5 min lettiPsychology
Marguerite Duras: Internet Essayist?
Marguerite Duras, whose 1984 novel The Lover is sometimes credited as an early work of autofiction, tends to repeat herself. “The story of my life doesn’t exist,” she writes in The Lover. “Does not exist.” This tendency makes her writing feel unaffec
Literary Hub6 min letti
Teaching Climate Change With The Lorax and The Jungle
It used to be that what I wanted more than anything was for my high school students to read independently. This was a month ago. Now, they’re doing much better. All it took was asking them what they wanted to read, then letting them read it. It wasn’
Literary Hub9 min letti
Panic is Worse Than Pain: How Fiction Failed Me After Trauma
A beginning is a cut in the onward flow of things. It is a lie too: we section out the story, slashing away what came before and after. A cut can form an opening: a hole or a door or a cave or a mine. But what kind of mine do we open? A landmine? Yes
Literary Hub9 min letti
Orwell’s Notes On 1984: Mapping The Inspiration Of A Modern Classic
At least three of George Orwell’s novels can be tracked back to the particular image or thought process that inspired their conception. With Animal Farm, it was the sight of a small boy escorting a giant cart horse down a country lane and the thought
Literary Hub7 min letti
On J.M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron: Perennially, Lamentably, Current
Published in 1990, J. M. Coetzee’s Age of Iron spoke so powerfully against the tyrannies of its time—and the cruelty of apartheid South Africa—that it feels uncanny to read now, and discover how uncomfortably fresh are its concerns. Coetzee asks two
Literary Hub13 min letti
The Role Of Librarians In A Historical Age Of Obsession
Bibliomania required, or at least implied, a librarian, except in those circumstances where collectors felt that they themselves had the time, interest, and expertise to take on the role for themselves. Some owners were confident that they did, but o
Literary Hub1 min lettiSociety
Global Stories That Have Expanded the “Great American” Literary Canon
The following illustrations are from America is Immigrants, by Sara Nović, illustrated by Alison Kolesar * __________________________________ Excerpted from America is Immigrants by Sara Nović, illustrated by Alison Kolesar. Copyright © 2019 by
Literary Hub9 min letti
Oh, Where Did You Go, Patti LuPone?
I grow up in Queens in the 1970s. During this period there are tons of commercials for Broadway shows. I become obsessed, studying each one with the concentrated focus of a brain surgeon. But the commercial I was most fixated on was for Evita starrin
Literary Hub3 min letti
Meme But Not Forgotten: RIP to the Glorious Animals of Our Digital Past
With angel wings Photoshopped in place by bored teenagers and students, Internet images prove that it is possible for the life of a beloved animal to extend well beyond its short, earthly years. When a pet becomes a meme, it becomes something bigger,
Literary Hub14 min lettiPolitics
Can Democrats Keep Up With Republican-Controlled State Majorities?
On February 20th, 2018, six days after seventeen people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Representative Kionne McGhee, a Democrat from Miami, stood on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives
Literary Hub10 min letti
Murder In Paradise: The Tale Of The Baroness And The Bohemians
In 1929 a German doctor named Friedrich Ritter and his former patient Dore Strauch landed on Floreana, a then-uninhabited island in the Galapagos archipelago off the coast of Ecuador. Having both left their spouses they’d set out to create paradise,
Literary Hub10 min lettiSociety
Cyrus Grace Dunham on Why We Need to Explode the Gender Binary
What is gender? It’s a question people seem to be increasingly asking themselves. Cyrus Grace Dunham might question if there is any real answer at all. In their debut memoir, A Year Without a Name, Dunham chronicles a two-year period in which they un
Literary Hub6 min letti
Nordic Noir, Beloved Trolls, Dark Absurdity, and More
I’ve been captivated by Nordic culture since I was an exchange student outside Gothenburg, Sweden, in the 80s, eventually going on to study literature abroad at the University of Uppsala and then getting a PhD in Scandinavian Languages and Literature
Literary Hub7 min letti
Finding A Way To Understand The World On A Basketball Court
My friends and I gathered on any basketball court as if called, and for hours each day we ran, up and down, teaching ourselves civilization. It sounds cliché now, to think that between two hoops we invented a way to understand the world, or at least
Literary Hub11 min letti
Tim O’Brien: Where is Our Allegiance to the “Toneless Dead”?
Except for my family and a couple of close friends, I am most at home and most wholly happy in the company of former members of my unit in Vietnam. I see these men only rarely; I don’t know them well and never did; many are like ghosts, or like ghost
Literary Hub16 min letti
The Connie Brothers Era: 45 Years at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
In this episode, alumni and staff from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop join Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast co-hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell to honor the retirement of the unmatched Connie Brothers, the Workshop’s administrator for 45 years. O
Literary Hub3 min letti
Nnedi Okorafor On Writing And Narrating The Audiobook Of Her Memoir
Author Nnedi Okorafor is known for her award-winning Afrofuturist works, stories rooted in African culture and perspective that explore beyond the realm of what is currently possible. Okorafor’s writing examines the intersection of technology, the na
Literary Hub3 min letti
John Hodgman on Life as a Very Minor Television Personality
This week on The Maris Review, John Hodgman joins Maris Kreizman to discuss his new book, Medallion Status, now available from Viking. On the genesis of his new book: John: I just came back from the Barnes & Noble store managers’ conference in Orland
Literary Hub4 min letti
The Little-Known ‘Slow Fire’ That’s Destroying All Our Books
How to fix a book: first, gather your tools. The bone folder that feels familiar in your hand, the knitting needles still sticky with glue, the X-Acto knife, the tiny Tupperware of glue. Then, diagnose the damage. If there’s scotch tape, grab the lig
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