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Ron Rash - Poet and Novelist (11/12)
Ron Rash was born in Chester, South Carolina, in 1953, grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University and Clemson University. In 1994 he published his first book, a collection of short stories titled The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth. Since then, Rash has published four collections of poetry, ...
Snegurochka (11/12)
Snegurochka
The Snow Child is based on a Russian fairy tale, Snegurochka. As told in the English versions (Arthur Ransome's 'Little Daughter of the Snow,' from Old Peter's Russian Tales and Andrew Lang's 'Snowflake,' from The Pink Fairy Book), a childless couple builds a girl out of the snow in a fit of playfulness, and she comes to ...
Yangzom Brauen: Actor, Activist, Author (10/12)
Born to a Tibetan artist and a Swiss anthropologist, Yangzom Brauen (pronounced YAHNG-zom Bhrown) gained an appreciation for the arts at a young age. She attended school at Europe's prestigious University of Theater and Music in Bern and was soon thereafter cast in a local television program, Manne Zimmer, on the National Swiss ...
Biography in Verse (10/12)
As reviewer Marnie Colton points out in her blog post at BookBrowse, biographies in poetry form allow for freedom of expression that a more constraining non-fiction prose form might not. Marnie calls the biography-in-verse 'a dynamic form that allows poets to revisit the lives of their subjects through imagery, rhythm, and metaphor ...
The Novels of Paul La Farge (10/12)
According to an article in Time Out Chicago (August 2011), 'Paul La Farge might be the greatest American writer you haven't read, but now there's no excuse.' He has been constructing a solid home for himself in American letters since his first published novel in 1999.

With a flavor of European modernism, The Artist of the Missing...
Amos Oz (10/12)
In the story 'Strangers,' two characters have a discussion about how writers choose their subject matter. 'There are some subjects and motifs that a writer comes back to again and again because apparently they come from the root of his being.'

There is nothing more true that could be said about Amos Oz, Israel's best known novelist...
The Funny, Frightening, Lyrical, Odd, and Very Talented Kelly Barnhill (10/12)
Kelly Barnhill is a very cool person. I don't know her personally, but you can just tell about some people. She is a mother of three, a teacher, and a writer (and probably a million other things too). She has written poetry and short stories for adults, non-fiction books for children and, now, her first middle grade debut novel, ...
Prominent Victorian Writers (09/12)
Madeleine Hanna, heroine of The Marriage Plot, is enthralled with the tidy, thoughtful novels of the nineteenth century. Here are three prominent Victorian writers and information about their literary styles that will make the experience of reading Eugenides's story all the more pleasurable.

George Eliot (1819-1880)
Born with the ...

Shakespearean Themes in The Night Circus (08/12)
The use of magical motifs in Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus, helps make it a unique and fascinating read. But the literary device is by no means new. Magic can be found in some of the oldest, most revered pieces of literature throughout history, as in William Shakespeare's The Tempest. In fact, his play served ...
Introducing Bryn Greenwood (08/12)
Bryn Greenwood grew up in the minute Kansas town of Hugoton; ten blocks by ten blocks. After escaping to college, earning three degrees (a BA in English, a BA in French Literature, and an MA in Writing) and making up stories all the while, she completed her first novel and sent it out to agents. Ten rejections, eight other novels, and ...
Why Write Historical Fiction? (08/12)
What makes a writer turn to historical fiction? The task of creating a fictional world is hard enough, so why throw in the additional labor of intensive research and the mental calisthenics of imagining another time? Some of the genre's biggest names respond...

Before his death in June 2012, Barry Unsworth's literary imagination...
Ernest Hemingway and Aldous Huxley (07/12)
On the surface, few early- to mid-twentieth century writers could be more different than Ernest Hemingway and Aldous Huxley. Hemingway (1899-1961), a rugged American with an appetite for alcohol, women, and outdoor sports, fine-tuned the art of the terse, elliptical sentence. Huxley (1894-1963), on the other hand, was born into a ...
H. G. Wells (06/12)
H. G. Wells is not only a prominent character in The Map of Time; he's also a famous novelist, sometimes called 'The Father of Science Fiction.' Born on September 21, 1866 in Bromley, a small town southeast of London, Herbert George Wells grew up quite poor but, after an incident in 1874 in which he broke his leg and was forced to rest in...
The Books of Melissa Fay Greene (05/12)
In the New Yorker review of Melissa Fay Greene's debut book, Praying for Sheetrock (1991), James Lardner writes, 'Greene's achievement recalls Jane Austen's description of her novels as fine brushwork on a 'little bit (two inches wide) of ivory'....' Greene is a gifted journalist with a novelist's eye for detail, and the four award-...
The Aura Estrada Prize (04/12)
In addition to memorializing and honoring Aura Estrada in his novel, Francisco Goldman also established a literary prize in 2008 in her name. Aura Estrada was a published short story writer in several Mexican and Latin American magazines including Letralia, Letras Libres, and Gatopardo, and, among many other projects, she published ...
Kyung-sook Shin (04/12)
International bestselling author Kyung-sook Shin has garnered unprecedented levels of success for her novel, Please Look After Mom. Originally published in South Korea in 2008 and having sold over a million and a half copies, it is the first of her books to be translated into English and has been published in nineteen countries worldwide....
The Collaboration Between Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango (04/12)

In the author's note in The Queen of Water, Laura Resau tells the story of walking into María Virginia Farinango's small shop one snowy day. She had met María Virginia once before at the small community college where Laura taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and María Virginia was taking a class with Laura's ...

Selected Books by Julian Barnes (03/12)
Julian Barnes can rightfully be called a prolific author, having published nineteen books, more than twenty short stories, and over one-hundred essays and reviews! He has also written four novels under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh, a mysterious, steer-wrestling, gay-bar-bouncing personality who, 'devoted his adolescence to truancy, ...
Kevin Brockmeier (03/12)
Kevin Brockmeier has received the Borders Original Voices Award, three O. Henry Awards (one, a first prize), the PEN USA Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an NEA Grant. He was also named one of Granta Magazine's 'Best Young American Novelists'. He is known for his imaginative interpretations of modern life, his emphasis on the wonders ...
Who is Candy Gourlay? (03/12)
Perhaps Candy Gourlay writes about dismantling the walls between people because she has chosen to scale them, push on them, and break them down for herself.

Candy tells a story about leaving Manila, where she spent much of her childhood, to live in England. Her two youngest brothers (she is one of six siblings) were just little guys...
Dr. Nick Trout (02/12)
Veterinary surgeon and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Nick Trout is beloved among readers and is often compared to the late English veterinary surgeon James Herriot, author of the classic memoir All Creatures Great and Small. In an interview with Boston Magazine, Dr. Trout describes his feelings about this comparison:

I grew ...

Andre Dubus - Father & Son (02/12)
It can be confusing enough when members of the same family share a profession. It gets even more confusing when they share the same name, as is the case with father and son authors Andre Dubus and Andre Dubus III.

Andre Dubus was born into a Cajun-Irish Catholic family in 1936 Louisiana, the youngest child of Katherine (Burke) and Andr...
Lysley Tenorio (02/12)
Lysley Tenorio (pronounced LESS-lee ten-OH-rio) is the winner of several awards, including the Whiting Writers' Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and a Pushcart Prize - and fellowships from Phillip Exeter Academy, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. He earned his MFA ...
China Miéville (02/12)
China Miéville (pronounced mee-AY-vill) has taken the science fiction world by storm in his relatively short tenure as a published author. He is the winner of three Arthur C. Clarke awards, two British Fantasy Awards, four Locus Awards, a Hugo Award, and a World Fantasy Award - not to mention he's received numerous nominations for ...
Henry James (02/12)
Henry James (1843-1916), the prolific American writer of the late 19th/early 20th century, was known to pick up ideas for his stories from dinner party conversations. Colm Tóibín puts this bit of knowledge to use in his short story 'Silence', when he has fictional character Lady Gregory share a secret with James as they sit next...
The Tiger Mother Media-Storm (01/12)
In addition to her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua's Wall Street Journal article entitled, 'Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior' (which is excerpted from Tiger Mother but does not fully represent the message of the book) has created quite a stir in the media, and has inspired hundreds of opinionated articles and blog postings ...
On the Path to the Newbery Medal (01/12)
Moon Over Manifest began as a story the author clearly needed to hear. Her inspiration was a line in Moby Dick that also influences Abilene: 'It is not down in any map; true places never are.'

On her website Vanderpool explains, 'That really sparked my imagination. What is a true place? It conjured up ideas of home. Having lived ...
Tomas Tranströmer (11/11)
Tomas Tranströmer was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1931, and spent his career as a psychologist. The author of a dozen books of poetry, Tranströmer is the most renowned Scandinavian poet since World War II. His poetry has been translated into more than fifty languages. In 2011, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature 'because...
Who is Cath Crowley? (11/11)
A Little Wanting Song left me wanting to know more about author Cath Crowley, but the biographical information immediately at hand was a little light, so I did some digging....

Cath Crowley is an Australian children's author. She was born in 1971 and grew up in a rural part of Victoria (SE Australia) with three brothers and a dog.

...
Everyday Magic in The History of Love (10/11)
Although Nicole Krauss's three books to date would not be classified as magical realism (a style, according to Wikipedia, wherein, 'normal occurrences… are presented in a straightforward manner, which allows the 'real' and the 'fantastic' to be accepted in the same stream of thought') there is in her books an element of the magic ...
Deborah Ellis (10/11)
Deborah Ellis has been all over the world. And she hasn't just visited places, she's done things. Big things. She went to Pakistan to help at an Afghan Refugee Camp; she went to Israel and the Ghaza Strip to talk with Israeli and Palestinian children; and she went to Malawi and Tanzania to spend time with children orphaned by AIDS. ...
The Team of Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis (09/11)
Husband and wife Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis live in a neighborhood in Forest Park, a 5000 acre northwestern wilderness on the edge of Portland, Oregon. To Colin and Carson, who spend hours and hours walking through the forest, it feels like its own country, vastly different from, yet so close to, the city. This is the inspirational...
Hard-boiled vs. Noir (09/11)
Hard-boiled fiction arose in the United States in the aftermath of WWI, and gained popularity and refinement in the years leading up to WWII. The popular genre was a direct reflection of the pessimism, uncertainty and disillusionment sweeping the country in the wake of gangster-driven crime, political scandal and economic crisis, and ...
Robert Graves and the White Goddess (09/11)
What is Robert Graves doing, you might ask, in a book about rowdy teen boys?  His presence is pervasive from the very first chapter, when the mysterious and beautiful new geography teacher, Aurelie, talks to Howard the Coward about how to get his history students engaged with the First World War:

'You should read them ...
The Appeal of Doomed Lovers (09/11)
Search the web for 'famous love stories' and you'll find that most sites rank Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in 1st place. Considering how few of the general populous will have actually read or watched a performance of Shakespeare's arguably most famous play in recent years it seems likely that what keeps this pair of star-crossed lovers...
Dorothea and Casaubon, literature's most famous miserable academic couple (08/11)
Margaret and Andrew of Private Life are cut from the same cloth as George Eliot's classic unhappy spouses, Dorothea Brooke and the Reverend Edward Casaubon. Eliot's Middlemarch was published in 1874, just a few years before Smiley's character, Margaret Mayfield, is born.

Dorothea Brooke is an intelligent and idealistic young woman, ...
Self-Publishing Successes (08/11)
Hilary Thayer Hamann self-published her novel with the help of her former husband's print and design company, consciously choosing to forego the typical path of agents, editors, and salespeople. The book found a disparate but fervent audience and started winning awards. A film producer inquired about movie rights and encouraged Hamann...
Siobhán Parkinson (08/11)
On May 11, 2010, Siobhán Parkinson (pronounced sh-vawn) became the first Irish Children's Literature Laureate (aka Laureate Na nÓg) ever. (Na nÓg is an Irish term meaning 'the young' or 'young people'). Held for two years, the main purpose of the position is to expose youths to good, high quality children's literature and ...
The History of The Hardy Boys (07/11)
Shortly after Will and Devon begin investigating the mysterious death of their high school quarterback, they name themselves the Hardy Boys. Here they are texting as they create this new identity:

Smiley_Man3000: With all the inside info I get from my dad and your big brain, we can solve this Chambers thing!

HamburgerHalpin: ...

Emma Donoghue (07/11)
Emma Donoghue is an award-winning Irish writer who lives in Canada. She has published seven novels, three collections of short stories, three works of non-fiction and various productions for stage, radio and screen. 

In her own words: 'Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, I am the youngest of eight children of ...
An Interview With Lily King (06/11)
When you began your new novel, Father of the Rain, what was the initial idea or image that got the story rolling?

I think it started with the puppy, a father buying his daughter a puppy that she wouldn't be able to keep because she knew, though he didn't, that she would be moving out of the house with her mother in a week. And her...

Scarlett Thomas (06/11)
For inspiration to write a novel about a novelist trying to write a novel, Scarlett Thomas didn't have to look very far—her own life was the template. Thomas was born in London in 1972. She wrote her first novel at age six and her second one in her early twenties, but literary fame eluded her. She, like her character Meg, turned ...
An Interview with Goldie Goldbloom (06/11)
Australian author Goldie Goldbloom discusses her debut novel, The Paperbark Shoe, with Lisa Guidarini. The following are selected excerpts from the full interview.

You chose to set the book in your native Australia. Do you believe it would have been as effective if the setting had been, say, the 1930s Dust Bowl in the United States, ...
Metafiction & Unreliable Narrators (05/11)
What is Metafiction?
It depends on whom you ask, as the term is somewhat slippery, meaning that various authors and literary critics define it differently. William H. Gass coined the term in 1970 in an essay entitled 'Philosophy and the Form of Fiction'. Commenting on American fiction of the 1960s, Gass pointed out that a new term ...
Just What Is a Poet Laureate? (04/11)
The United States Poet Laureate* is appointed annually by the Library of Congress, and is poetically described by the LOC as the 'official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans.' (Personally, I like the very idea of a 'collective poetic impulse,' and find its acknowledgement and promotion by an institution of the federal ...
Pearl S. Buck (04/11)
Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (born June 26, 1892 in Hillsboro, West Virginia) was an important and much lauded American writer, famous for her depictions of China and Chinese culture, which earned her a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for the novel The Good Earth and the first Nobel Prize awarded to an American woman for Literature in 1938 'for her ...
All About Jason Wallace (04/11)
Here is a short story about perseverance: Out of Shadows was rejected by agents and editors one hundred times before Jason Wallace's current publishing house bought it. One hundred times. And it just won the very prestigious Costa Children's Book of the Year Award (formerly the Whitbread Award). Thank goodness Jason didn't give up trying....
Literary Predecessors of Maggie O'Farrell (01/11)
According to BookBrowse reviewer Marnie Colton, Maggie O'Farrell's dry wit and keen observations owe a debt to these predecessors:

Nina Bawden (b. 1925)
Nina Bawden, CBE, is one of Britain's most distinguished and best-loved novelists for adults and children. She has published over forty novels and was shortlisted for the Booker ...
The Origin of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (01/11)
(From author Melanie Benjamin's website)

On the 'golden afternoon' of July 4, 1862, Charles Dodgson and his friend Robinson Duckworth rowed the three Liddell girls - Ina, Alice and Edith - down the Isis (or the Thames, as it's known as it nears London)* for a picnic lunch. During the trip, Dodgson began to tell the sisters the story...
William Wordsworth (01/11)
Characters in Bloodroot rely on William Wordsworth's poetry as a source of comfort and inspiration, but echoes of his literary philosophy and poetic interests can also be found in the pages of Amy Greene's novel.

Just as Bloodroot relies on memory to tell its stories, much of Wordsworth's poetry focuses on capturing moments of ...
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