Carousel #12

  1. You can see what people are reading on the subways over at The Underground New York Public Library.
  2. Another great blog I discovered: Pen and Ink. Tattoos and the stories behind them.
  3. 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.
  4. Over at the Rumpus, writer and internet hero Roxane Gay talks about women writers, “women’s fiction,” and gender disparity in the publishing landscape. Also good books that I want to read.
  5. Here’s a collection of really weird book titles. Some will make you laugh out loud, some will leave you scratching your head.


  1. I am so glad you're updating Carousels again! I got all giddy when I saw this in my google reader.

    Gay's article, though, once again uplifted me as much as it brought me down.

    "I continue to find that there are more similarities between the writing of men and women than there are differences. Aren’t we all just trying to tell stories? How do we keep losing sight of this?"

    I have said this in so many words many, many times before. However, what needs to be addressed is the larger issue of how fragmented society is, how we all fit into these separate niches and sub-catergories. Literature is no longer JUST literature. It is Women's lit, so-called "Queer lit," African American lit, Caribbean Lit, and so on and so forth (all of which are taught at my University…) Now, Gay works at a University and she should understand that this is the direction everything is going in the academic world and no is trying to stop it, but more than ever they are trying to keep everything in these small boxes. Most people do not like to read outside of their category as sad as that is. I have talked to fellow English majors who "hate" Women and Queer Lit, but love African American Literature. When I ask why they hate it, they say it is because they feel like they are learning more about their cultural background. Fine, that is fair, but what about the days when literature was a teaching experience and you could be transplanted to another time and walk in another person's shoes, as cliche as that sounds.
    For the most part, I don't see the label of "women's fiction" going away, if only because I don't see any OTHER type of labels going away.

    What most people forget, though, is that the novel is relatively modern in comparison to ancient work and not only that but, traditionally considered a "feminized" or "light" work. Women weren't "intelligent enough" to write poetry like men and so they wrote prose. Whenever I think of it like this, I start to question the whole problem completely.

    I don't know! What do you think, Joseph?


    1. I think it's important that students studying literature are actually forced to take these certain classes (like African American, Women and Queer, etc.) because I have a feeling most English majors as a whole just avoid them, unless they are more personally involved with a particular category. I know very few men, for example, who would willingly take a Women and Queer lit class. There's still far too much focus on a certain type of literature, I think, and things get diluted and watered down. I wish more readers would just be a bit more open-minded or diverse in the books they choose to explore.

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