Another great blog I discovered: Pen and Ink. Tattoos and the stories behind them.
Many people were upset earlier this year about having no Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction. In the New Yorker, writer Michael Cunningham (who was one of members of the jury that decides which three books are to be judged) discusses how exactly the process worked.
Ray Bradbury passed away recently. I read Fahrenheit 451 when I was in middle school. I believe we also watched the movie adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes, although I used to think it was just a bad dream I had. I never really got around to reading more of his work until recently, but he was quite a prolific author – especially when it came to short stories. Here’s a story I think you’ll like.
Here’s a hilarious post by Amanda Nelson about awkward encounters with writers at book signings. I’ve never actually met a really famous writer that I admire, but I honestly don’t even think I would want to because I wouldn’t know what to say either.
A friend of mine, Frankie, loves Sarah Kane. She talks about her at every opportunity and she want you to know that you should read her too. If you’re unfamiliar, Sarah Kane was a rather controversial English playwright who committed suicide in 1999. She handled difficult and dark subjects, and her work is characterized by being very abstract and unconventional for plays. They are also very stripped down and emotionally raw. You can read 4.48 Psychosis here. A bit of a warning though: it’s about the author’s struggle with depression and acts as a suicide note, so I wouldn’t read it if you’re already in a certain state of mind. Read it in the morning or on your lunch hour, when you still feel fresh.
I’ve been receiving a lot of rejections lately, so seeing this ridiculous list of famous writers being rejected gives me some hope at least.
I read this really great essay by Benjamin Hale that addresses the real value of literary prizes and what literature lives on years and years later. Basically, there is mediocre literature winning tons of awards that everyone forgets quickly and there is literature that is typically very polarizing and is usually recognized long after the writer has passed. Would you prefer to win awards while you’re alive or to be remembered long after you’re dead?
A sixteen-year-old girl by the name of Tavi Gevinson has started an online magazine for other teenage girls. It’s not the vapid stuff you see in other typical teenage magazines – it’s real stories about what it’s like growing up. It’s well-written, relevant, and often funny. She’s been on TED, she’s been invited to fashion shows in New York. I was talking to Melissa about this, and we were wondering when teenagers were this cool. Rock on, Tavi. You will go far.
One of my old creative writing professors was named a Guggenheim fellow. Pretty fantastic. A friend of mine called my attention to it and we reminisced about our days in fiction workshop at the Biscayne Bay campus and our quick dinners at Taco Bell.
About a month or so ago, I read Edith Wharton’s book called The Writing of Fiction, which gives her opinions on writers and advice on the writing process (from novels to short stories to genre fiction, like horror). Here’s her story, “Copy: A Dialogue,” which was published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1900.
I don’t know about the readers of this blog, but I’m a largely introverted person. In fact, I’m probably the most introverted person I know. Ever since I was little, this has been treated as a huge issue in pretty much every facet of my life. Then along comes Susan Cain and her TED talk. She is the author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, which I plan on reading sometime hopefully this year (my to-read list is getting ridiculous again, of course). If you’re an introvert, you may find it reassuring to be reminded every once in a while that you shouldn’t feel ashamed of who you are.