The Beat Generation was such a largely male-dominated literary movement that its few female writers have mostly been forgotten. At The Toast, Megan Keeling remembers Beat poet Elise Cowen, who is mostly known as Allen Ginsberg’s paramour but also wrote poetry of her own. “Her surviving poetry shows a unique perspective on the rigid cultural conformity of the 1950s and also the fringe artistic community of the Beat Generation.” A collection of her poetry, Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments, was just published.
Elif Batuman’s provocative essay “Get a Real Degree” is up at the London Review of Books: “Despite the recent trend in viewing fiction as a form of empathy training, I’m pretty sure that writing short stories isn’t the most efficient way to combat injustice or oppression.”
For those who like their celebrity fashion with a voluptuous lashing of satire, this Fug’s for you. Check out the maybe-not-so-pretty fashion blog Go Fug Yourself‘s Grammy Awards coverage–or lack of coverage, as was (quelle suprise!) the case with Britney Spears.
Authors, including Jennifer Egan, George Saunders, Ali Smith, and our own Chigozie Obioma, chose their Best Books of 2017 in a two-part series for The Guardian. If you enjoyed that list, make sure to check out our Year in Reading: 2017 series all throughout December.
This morning, the longlist for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin award came out, and the nominees include some familiar names. Year in Reading alum Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah is on there, as is Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane (reviewed here by our own Tess Malone), Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (which won this year’s Pulitzer) and The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner (whom you can learn more about in this essay by our own Bill Morris).