Recent Articles

September 7, 2017

The Millions Top Ten: August 2017 0

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Laurent Binet and Victor LaValle join the list.

September 7, 2017

Racism, Natural History, and Fiction 15

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Natural history is not just a grab bag; it’s not neutral, and it’s important that in fiction it not be allowed to become a playground where white people, characters, and authors can retreat into an allegorical fantasy land, as it has functioned in real life for hundreds of years with extreme consequences.

September 6, 2017

Taking Stock 0

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“I had put manure bags—yes, manure, which is what we could get—at the front and back doors.” Publishers Weekly looks at how Houston-area indie bookstores are faring post-Harvey.

September 6, 2017

A Well-Rounded Curriculum 0

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“I have a girl brain but in a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way!” The Los Angeles Times reports on an elementary-school teacher reading I Am Jazz, written by transgender teenager Jazz Jennings, with her class; encouragingly, not that many parents freak out. Pair with writer T.K. Dalton reflecting on how to traverse […]

September 6, 2017

Getting Out of Her Own Skin: The Millions Interviews Nancy Pearl 1

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Plot is not that important to me. I think what’s always important to me in life and the books I read are the people involved.

September 6, 2017

Missing Fathers: Reading Hisham Matar in Glasgow 1

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Ten years after his disappearance my father remains missing. On the anniversary, I’ve come back to Glasgow to look for him, with Matar’s words for company.

September 5, 2017

The Thriller Code 0

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“Rather than outlining your plot in chronological order, try outlining your plot as if it were a candle burning at both ends. Begin the process by writing your first and last chapter simultaneously.” Amazon Author Insights gathers, well, insights on writing from Dan Brown and other famous crime and thriller novelists. (Full disclosure: Amazon helps us pay […]

September 5, 2017

Literature’s Inherited Trauma: On Jesmyn Ward’s ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ 2

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By invoking Morrison and Faulkner, Ward excavates not only the suffering of her characters, but also the long tradition of fiction about slavery, fiction that grapples with racial injustice that extends into the present.

September 5, 2017

Poetry Can Be Anything 0

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“He taught me that poetry can be anything and with that comes great freedom.” Reminiscences by a former student of the poet John Ashbery upon his death. And for a contemporary take on the question of just what, exactly, poetry is and/or might be, see our recent conversation between Jill Bialosky and Matthew Zapruder.

September 5, 2017

A Borrowing Boom 0

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“Between 1990 and 2014, visits to public libraries grew by a whopping 181%. For context, the population of the United States increased by 28% during that period.” Why the library boom? (via The Digital Reader) See also this paean by Daniel Penev in our own pages,“The Library Is Dead. Long Live the Library!”