On June 7th Canteen is hosting a battle in NYC's KGB Bar. The event is called Outwrite and will pit Matthew Aaron Goodman, author of Hold Love Strong, against twelve two unknown volunteers in a flash writing competition. Alexander Chee will be reading from his new novel while the contestants prepare their weapons. This would make a great #LitBeat, and if you're interested in covering this, get in touch with me here.
“He says you should choose a book narrated by a person of the same gender as their primary master, played at average volume on an in-home listening device such as the Alexa-driven Echo device.” Cesar Milan is curating a list of titles for Amazon's new Audible for Dogs initiative, reports USA Today. On the list so far: Pride and Prejudice, The Wind in the Willows, and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (via Book Riot).
"I don’t think writing the truth makes you strong by default. I think it makes you vulnerable, which in turn can make you strong." Amy Jo Burns writes for Ploughshares about the difficulties of "Writing About Other People" and the upcoming publication of her debut memoir, Cinderland.
China has its first literary Nobel Laureate as the prize has gone to 57-year-old novelist Mo Yan. Yan is said to make use of magical realism and satire in addressing China's recent history. His books have been frequently banned in China and "Mo Yan" is a pen name meaning "don't speak." Yan's given name is Guan Moye. During our Year in Reading last year, author Alex Shakar wrote about Yan's novel Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. Yan’s style here is maximalistic, headlong, sloppy to be sure, but bursting with life; or rather, lives — human and otherwise. A Chinese landowner is executed at the dawn of the Cultural Revolution, and the story follows him literally to hell and back, again and again as he’s reborn in a progression of animal incarnations. Each time, he winds up near his former family and participates in its dramas, goes on animal adventures, and witnesses the hardships, cruelties, and absurdities of life in China over the last half-century. Mo Yan himself shows up as a character from time to time. Yan's other books available in English include: Red Sorghum (which was made into a feature film) The Garlic Ballads Big Breasts & Wide Hips The Republic of Wine Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh Change Explosions and Other Stories Forthcoming in January: Pow! He also has a story in the collection of Chinese short fiction Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused
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