Displaying articles for: February 2013

Drugstore Inspiration: A Guest Post by Dennis Mahoney

In Dennis Mahoney's debut, Fellow Mortals, a carelessly discarded match ignites a raging fire that destroys a neighborhood and changes the victims' lives in very different ways. In precise, clean prose, this soulful and compassionate debut limns the boundary between atonement and forgiveness, and is a terrific book group pick. 

Dennis not only explains how he found the story that became Fellow Mortals, but also riffs on the unreliable nature of inspiration, and why writers need a toolbox and a muse, among other things, in a guest post for the Discover Blog.

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Kalimpura

Some acts of worldbuilding in fiction instantiate a milieu that is so culturally odd and exotic, so displaced from the audience's consensus reality in terms of quotidian rituals and observances, clothing and habitations, taboos and emotions, that the subcreation becomes fantastical even if nothing overtly supernatural or paranormal takes place. Such creations usually free up the writer to focus on character, imagining what types of people such a world would produce, since the creator is not overly busy casting spells or buffing up the scales on the dragons. The Ur-example of this kind of book is Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy.

 

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A Date with a Book: Valentine's Day Reading

Some of us will spend Valentine’s Day staring into the eyes of a lover, but others will find February 14 provides a perfect opportunity to get intimate with a book. We asked seven writers for their "Date with a Book" selections, and received six wildly various -- yet equally loveable --  suggestions in turn.

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Get Out of the Way of the Material: Stuart Nadler and Emma Straub in Conversation

Stuart Nadler’s Wise Men and Emma Straub’s Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures are both  stellar reads, thought-provoking and entertaining in equal measure, easy to recommend.  Good stories, well told and solid selections for the Discover Great New Writers program. Both Emma and Stuart have gone from story collections with contemporary settings to ambitious, compulsively readable historical novels about class and identity. So why make the switch from present to past, short to long? They answer that question, discuss the importance of story as well as the perils of the internet -- and more -- in conversation on the Discover blog.

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July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.