In the annals of Southern literature, Elizabeth Spencer isn’t as well-known as Faulkner or Flannery O’Connor, but she is, Wilton Barnhardt writes, “one of America’s best short-story writers.” The 92-year-old author’s new collection marks “65 years and counting of superb writing,” he argues.
“’These issues are constantly being brought to the surface in Roman literature, if you have eyes to see them,’ Beard said. ‘And, of course, having eyes to see them—that’s what the trick is.’” Rebecca Mead writes for the New Yorker about Mary Beard, the Cambridge classicist famous for her BBC programs on Roman life and for her handling of online harassment. For more from Beard, check out her interview with the Los Angeles Review of Books about the importance of the classics, and for more about online negativity, head to Salon‘s article on “Why female writers get trolled the most.”
This incredible essay from Rita Gabis at Guernica examines the bizarre intersection of dreams, truth, and murder. If that subject matter piques your interest, here are a few essays from The Millions that also touch on dreams, truth, and murder, respectively.
Joshua Cohen, author of the recently published Book of Numbers, will begin writing a serialized, twentieth-century version of Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers live and online next week. Beginning October 12 at 1pm, viewers can watch Cohen spend five days reimagining the book and will be able to offer criticism that may affect the ending.
In her short history of executioners, Stassa Edwards notes that the decision to replace “the traditional punishment” of drowning people “in a sack in a local river” was actually quite pragmatic: it was “more economical” to go with a simple beheading.
Nancy Jo Sales, author of The Bling Ring, talks about her latest book, American Girls, at NPR. “In the 2 1/2 years she spent researching her book, Sales interviewed more than 200 teenage girls around the country about their social media and Internet usage. She says girls face enormous pressures to post ‘hot’ or sexualized photos of themselves online, and she adds that this pressure can make the Internet an unwelcoming environment.” You could also read Sarah Labrie’s essay on social (media) anxiety.