Here are a couple Halloween-related essays from the good people at The Literary Hub: This fascinating literary history of witches by Jess Bergman, and this piece by Tobias Carroll on non-fiction writers crossing the supernatural line between fantasy and reality.
We’ve already decided that it’s okay for fictional characters to be unlikable, but what about nonfiction writers? At the VQR blog, Jennifer Niesslein interviews essayists on whether their success is based on how amiable they are. “I think it’s ridiculous to expect to like someone who wrote a book you love, but the increasing visibility of writers on social media—who are expected to be the ambassadors of their books—amps up the pressure to be well-liked,” Cheryl Strayed said.
“It was only in 1987, when she went to National Taiwan University, that the censorship laws were relaxed. Yet the censorship laws seemed to have an opposing effect on her literary ambitions. ” Meet Qiu Miaojin, the first woman in Chinese literature to come out as openly gay. Ankita Chakraborty at Longreads has more on this remarkable writer.
We’ve already published a pair of great lists of gifts for writers, but I know more than one book lover (ahem) who would be thrilled to get this collection of vintage Penguin book cover postcards.