September 11, 2013 |
For the next two weeks Roxane Gay will be blogging at The Nation about new books by writers of color. Gay, author of the story collection “Ayiti” as well as an essayist and editor, has dedicated herself to calling attention to the lack of diversity in the way we talk about books in this country and to pointing readers toward talented writers of color that she says the media is overlooking. Gay has been down this road before - in the summer of 2012 she counted the number of reviews of books by writers of color in 2011's New York Times.
September 8, 2013
A new readon Scotland Really enjoyed "A Real Page Turner," by Kari Howard [Sept. 1]. My husband and I have been thinking about going on a distillery tour in Scotland (sounded like fun!), but that trip in literary Scotland has us rethinking it a bit. Susan Morgan Alhambra Costly money card The article "Abroad, a Plastic Alternative" [More for Your Money, Sept. 1] by Catharine Hamm mentioned the advantages of using the Travelex pre-loaded money card for international travel.
September 1, 2013 |
WIGTOWN, Scotland - "You're on the road to nowhere. " The roads were getting narrower and narrower on the drive through southwestern Scotland. We had left behind the divided highway outside Glasgow, and then, somewhere near the towns with signs saying "Haste Ye Back," had lost the painted line down the middle of the two-lane road. For a few miles now, we had been on a one-track road, the kind where you must back up to the last lay-by if you meet a car coming from the other direction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2013 |
I knew my first name was trouble when Sister Edmunda wagged a bony finger in my face and accused me of fleeing limbo with a fake ID. "Kim? That's not a saint's name," she said, her voice oozing disdain. "How did you ever get baptized with a name like that?" Beats the hell out of me, Sister. I'm in the first grade, remember? What I was too young to know was that my mom's cousin, a priest, had sneaked me into the fold under the saintly cover of my middle name, Martin. No matter.
July 18, 2013 |
“The city burning,” Joan Didion wrote in “Los Angeles Notebook,” “is Los Angeles's deepest image of itself.” I kept thinking about that Wednesday night as my wife and I drove out to Hemet, where our daughter had been evacuated from her camp in Idyllwild due to the 19,600-acre Mountain fire. Hemet may not be Los Angeles, but it's close enough that Didion's image - “at the time of the 1965 Watts riots,” she continues, “what struck the imagination most indelibly were the fires.
July 16, 2013 |
Maybe a book by a juror in the Trayvon Martin murder trial isn't such a good idea after all. On Monday it was announced that one of the jurors who had found George Zimmerman not guilty had landed a literary agent , Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary Management. Juror B37 -- who told CNN's Anderson Cooper that she had "no doubt" that Zimmerman feared for his life in the moments before he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager -- planned to write a book about the trial with her husband, an attorney.
July 15, 2013 |
Over the weekend, while thousands of people in various cities across the United States were protesting the George Zimmerman trial verdict, one of the six jurors in the trial was apparently quite busy on the phone - with a literary agent. The not guilty verdict in the shooting of Trayvon Martin came on Saturday evening. And on Monday morning, the woman known as “Juror B37,” and the juror's husband, had signed an agreement to be represented by the Los Angeles-based Martin Literary Management agency, as announced by the agency's president, Sharlene Martin.
July 3, 2013 |
"We have heard the chimes at midnight. " That's from "Henry IV part II" by William Shakespeare. And it could kick off a literary, textual daylong tale inspired by "The Clock. " Christian Marclay's 2010 art piece "The Clock" is a film installation. Marclay cut together 24 hours worth of time passing in film -- watch-checking, clocks in the background, people saying the time. The thousands of clips are sequential, and when the piece is screened it is synced to the time of day in the real world. The piece is so unique in that it inspired the book section of The Guardian to see if it could create a literary version.
June 27, 2013 |
Last week there was a hubbub over a Kickstarter campaign to fund a "seduction" guidebook that included passages that encouraged men to be assertive with women. "Don't ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances," and other amateur advice justifiably set off alarm bells. Yet the furious attention that followed backfired -- the small, self-published book got funded eight times over. Can literary projects on Kickstarter that aren't offensive do the same? One that might is for a 25-minute film adaptation of the story "Oblivion" by David Foster Wallace (watch the video above)
June 20, 2013 |
Literary tourists traveling to New York have long been drawn to the Algonquin Hotel , the site of the famed Algonquin Roundtable. Full disclosure: "Literary tourists" include me -- I've been there more than once to have a martini in its lounge. The Algonquin was where a group of writers, wits and key literary figures met starting in 1919 to eat, argue and, of course, drink. Dorothy Parker, the petite poet with an acid pen and a hollow leg, was one of its stalwarts. So was Robert Benchley, one of his generation's most popular humorists; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edna Ferber; writer, editor and producer George S. Kaufman, winner of two Pulitzers; New York Times drama critic Alexander Woollcott; and Harold Ross, who, midway through the Roundtable's eight-year run, founded the New Yorker magazine.