We’ve all been guilty of speed reading an article or skimming through headlines, and author Jacqueline Woodson is calling for us to slow down our reading. In a TED talk dedicated to taking the time to appreciate stories, she extols the virtues of slow reading. “Remember that story, regardless of the format, has always taken us to places we never thought we’d go, introduced us to people we never thought we’d meet and shown us worlds that we might have missed,” she says. “So as technology keeps moving faster and faster, I am good with something slower. My finger beneath the words has led me to a life of writing books for people of all ages, books meant to be read slowly, to be savored.”
Liked watching Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk last year? Then consider picking up a copy of We Should All Be Feminists. The longform essay, now published as an ebook original, was adapted from topics Adichie touched upon in her speech, among them the importance of being a feminist in the twenty-first century. You could also look back on Adichie’s Year in Reading piece.
“In eleven years, I’ve written four books: three novels and one story collection. Only the story collection has ever seen the light of day; the first two novels, including my thesis, were never published and the third novel is making the rounds with agents right now. I’d like to believe I’ve learned a few things about how fiction works over this time, but perhaps it is more accurate to write that I have learned how my fiction does – or in many cases, does not – work.” Michael Nye, who’s written for us before, shares his “Lessons in Failure and Writing a Novel” on the Missouri Review blog.
William Carlos Williams‘s birthday was this last week, and Adam Kirsch writes about the poet for New York Review of Books. Though he argues that “today it would be hard to find a reader of poetry who would not acknowledge William Carlos Williams as one of the major American modernists” Kirsch still has to face the question, “why is it, then, that almost fifty years after his death, the reputation of [Williams] still seems to be haunted by a ghost of uncertainty?”