Articles by Alan Levinovitz

May 29, 2013

Politics, Art, and the Practice of Writing: A Conversation with Orson Scott Card 37

Until recently most people knew Orson Scott Card as the author of Ender’s Game, a beloved modern science fiction classic. Of late, however, Card’s opposition to gay marriage has led to widespread media excoriation and intense scrutiny of his politics. In an effort to nuance current coverage, I chose to ask Card questions about writing and his identity as a writer.

April 23, 2013

Less Mo Yan, More Ah Cheng 4

Fans of Chinese literature all have their personal favorites, and none of them have ever resonated with me. I think I like Ah Cheng because he is crazy, and crazy people transcend the cultures that produce them.

March 4, 2013

God-born Devil’s S**t: Unleashing the Essence of Self-Help Books in Three Simple Steps 4

Christian self-help is a sub-genre so ubiquitous that when I entered a Christian bookstore and asked for the self-help section, one employee looked at me quizzically and said, “Well, that’s pretty much everything in here, unless you’re looking for a Bible.”

January 29, 2013

Think of Bread in General: On Making Books Into Movies 12

“Everyone accepts that stories and movies are different things.” Indeed. But how, exactly? Is one a higher art form than the other? Does one strengthen children’s brains while the other is more likely to rot them?

January 10, 2013

Beautiful and Exciting and Profoundly Different: On Beck’s Song Reader 2

I have just channeled Beck’s spirit through printed paper! The first versions of Beck’s songs I hear are my own! This is an amazing feeling.

March 1, 2012

Ban This Book: An Uncensored Look At The Lorax And Other Dangerous Books 7

Am I a closet censor, ready to suppress repugnant ideologies while trumpeting the importance of Banned Books Week? The short answer is yes. The fact is, when censorship fits with one’s values, even the staunchest defenders of free speech are willing to bend the rules.

February 1, 2012

I Greet You in the Middle of a Great Career: A Brief History of Blurbs 45

Hyperbole, fakery, shameless cronyism: blurbs, like bullshit, existed long before the term coined to describe them.