Literature

The Real Reason Writers Love the Amtrak Residency

It's not just the free train ticket

It's not just the free train ticket.

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Death to Cupid

Love is not "all you need." Far from it.

Boycott Valentine's Day and end our nation's obsession with romantic love.

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There's way more to Frost than "The Road Not Taken."

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She was rich as sin, but didn't let that stop her from ripping apart the upper class. 

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"Why I Read" is another pointless entry in the tired genre, The Very Personal Book About My Love Of Reading.

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From her obituaries, and the serious critical assessments of her work, I hardly recognize the Doris Lessing I knew. I don’t fault the obit writers (I used to be one) or critics and admirers for attempting the tricky job of collating into a coherent narrative the Bunyanesque episodes and human contradictions in Lessing’s life and work. Indeed, it was not the later “Great Author” who I knew, but a young, romantic, passionate, fiercely ambitious single mother pounding away at a portable typewriter trying—as we all did—to keep it together.

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Herman Melville Got No Respect

October 10, 1928: Lewis Mumford on Herman Melville's legacy

"Call me Ishmael," the first sentence in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, is one of the most recognized opening lines in American literature. It's ascendency into not just literary, but cultural notoriety, began 162 years today, with the first publication of Melville's story of the white whale.

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Capturing the zeitgeist is something of an obsession for Dave Eggers. His work includes a recession-era treatise on the everyman’s dwindling power in American life, the near-biography of a Hurricane Katrina survivor (labelled nonfiction), the near-biography of a Sudanese child soldier (labelled fiction), and a film that wistfully captured the horrors of fracking. If you’ve read it about it in The New York Times Sunday Review, chances are Dave Eggers has considered it as source material.

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The recent revival of interest in Poe has brought to light a good deal of new information about him and supplied us for the first time with a serious interpretation of his personal career, but it has so far entirely failed to explain why we should still want to read him.

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A new film and biography of J.D. Salinger claim to reveal new information about the reclusive writer's life—including new work. In 1987, Andrew Delbanco reviewed another Salinger biography and the "unsquelchable" rumor of unpublished work. 

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