The appeal of larger food packaging is, apparently, linked to a hunger for socioeconomic status rather than the rumblings of the stomach.
We are all by now familiar with J.K. Rowling's elaborate, hand-drawn outlines for the Harry Potter series, but what if all plots could be simplified further? Down to, let's say, graphs? And not even an infinite number of graphs, but just six? The Paris Review considers the work of Matthew Jockers, a literature professor who studies “the relationship between sentiment and plot shape in fiction.”
"For a while, shortly after I finished an undergraduate creative writing course, everything I wrote started with an observation or a realization...I was going to be an essayist, and it was going to be awesome." At The Morning News, Martin Connelly writes about how he lost his drive to become an essayist and the surprising thing that makes him want to start again — his daughter. For more on the power of the essay, read our interview with Leslie Jamison.
Ashwin Sanghi first published his book, The Rozabal Line, on Lulu.com under the anagram Shawn Haigins. A revised edition of the book was published by Westland Ltd. & Tranquebar Press much later, and garnered controversy with readers pointing out similarities between its plot and the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai. Sanghi's response? "Any book based on research could have real life commonalities."
When The Counselor (trailer here) opens in theaters this month, the occasion will mark a career milestone for Cormac McCarthy. The 80-year-old novelist has been writing original screenplays since the 1970s, but only one of them – a made-for-TV movie called The Gardener’s Son – was produced before this latest effort. Over at The Wall Street Journal, Alexandra Alter takes a look at the author’s involvement in the production of The Counselor, as well as its reception by several film industry insiders and devout McCarthy fans. ("McCarthy writing a sex scene is maybe not a great idea," one of them says.)
Laura Miller of Salon recommends Tana French’s new crime-fiction novel Faithful Place: “makes Philip Marlowe's L.A. look like a church picnic. French herself doesn't play by the rules...” Also out recently is a new edition of James Salter's short story collection Dusk and Other Stories, with a new introduction by former Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch.