This month marks Dante‘s 750th birthday. In an essay for the New Yorker John Kleiner considers what the poet means to Italy, from the middle schools where his poetry is taught to pre-teens to televised readings of the Paradiso in space.
Authors, are you struggling to get your book’s characters together? Are they lacking a little spark, a little intimacy? Well, have no fear. The folks at Open Road Media put together a video with Erica Jong, Lawrence Block, Patricia Gaffney, and a few more authors on The Art of Writing Sex Scenes. This should do the trick.
“To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail,” Will Self told The Guardian. He and six other authors, including Margaret Atwood and Lionel Shriver, reflect on their life, career, and love disappointments. Pair with: our own Edan Lepucki’s essay on accepting rejection.
The Atlantic interviews Erin Gruwell, a teacher whose methods for teaching her students about prejudice became the basis of a book (and subsequent movie) called The Freedom Writers. Named after a group of bus-riding civil rights activists, the students in her classes wrote lengthy journal entries -- many of them relating to their own personal traumas -- in order to compare them with diaries by historical figures. Writing journals, Gruwell says, helped her students learn to like schoolwork.