Looking for an inimitable holiday gift for the literary person in your life, or maybe for yourself? The Common’s annual postcard auction, which runs through Dec. 1, is your opportunity to receive handwritten, personalized letters from renowned authors. This year’s list includes David Sedaris (The Best of Me), Ross Gay (The Book of Delights), Laila Lalami (The Other Americans), Fran Lebowitz (The Fran Lebowitz Reader), André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name), and many more. Proceeds support The Common, an award-winning literary magazine dedicated to nurturing the careers of global, emerging writers.
“My mind flashed that disembodied jaw at me in a jaw’s version of full color; a dirty white that bone and snow agree on.” This piece of original short fiction from Kashana Cauley at The Daily Beast will make you never want to set foot in a Hermés store–or even just shop on Black Friday.
“Other favorites I’ve found myself overusing include ‘she nodded,’ ‘she raised her eyebrows,’ and ‘she walked home slowly / she slowly walked home.’” Maria Murnane writes for the Amazon Author Insights blog (full disclosure: Amazon helps us keep the lights on around here!) about how to watch out for crutch words.
“Today I ate my shame, regurgitated it as a self-disgust, and digested it again as indolence. Known in the physical world as udon noodles with shrimp tempura,” Teddy Wayne told VICE. He and other writers (including our own Emily St. John Mandel) were profiled on what they eat for lunch. On the side: famous writers’ favorite snacks (Lord Byron liked to drink vinegar.)
Regardless of your Valentine’s Day plans, do not take advice from Nate Piven, the protagonist of Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Ron Charles asked Waldman to write another scene of Nate’s romantic saga. “He decided it would be best to hedge his bets by getting her something ‘ironic.'”