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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: literature, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,092
1. Vanishing Games

The Ghostman returns in this thrilling, page-turning, whip-smart read. Hobbs has nailed it again with a story of jewel theft gone wrong set in the glittering casinos and crumbling slums of the gambling city of Macao. Books mentioned in this post Vanishing Games Roger Hobbs Used Hardcover $17.95

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2. All This Life

Mohr is a favorite of several Powell's employees, and his fifth novel does not disappoint. All This Life explores how a mass suicide affects the people who witnessed it, and the ripple effects that follow one teenager's posting of the event online. Mohr is a beautiful, dark, and funny writer, and his examination of our [...]

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3. On Writing

No matter how you feel about the writing of Charles Bukowski, there's no denying he's become a much-emulated and lauded author of mid- to late-century American literature and poetry. This volume of Bukowski's letters to friends and colleagues reveals his thoughts on the process of creation in an intimate and open way. Books mentioned in [...]

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4. To the Lighthouse

Reading Virginia Woolf is like stepping out onto a veranda, where the entire world unfurls before you in dazzling detail. Her unparalleled ability to paint a scene so exquisitely, and to inhabit her characters with such clarity and intensity, makes for an experience that is both awe-inspiring and deeply moving. To the Lighthouse, set in [...]

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5. Faces in the Crowd

As sinuous a novel as Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd is, it is all the more remarkable on account of it being a debut — and a most assured one at that. The Mexican novelist and essayist's first fiction entwines multiple narratives and perspectives, shifting between them with the ease and gracefulness of a [...]

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6. Song of Solomon

If the only book you've read by Toni Morrison is her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Beloved, you're missing out. Known for her powerfully evocative prose, her grand mystical tales steeped in black history, her haunting (and haunted) characters, Morrison is an author whose body of work demands attention. Her third novel, Song of Solomon — Barack [...]

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7. Frankenstein

In her short 53 years, Mary Shelley wrote novels, plays, short stories, essays, biographies, and travel books, but it's not surprising that she is best known for her novel Frankenstein. It's hard to separate the idea of Frankenstein's monster from the popular icon he's become, but everyone should read the original novel. Shelley's gothic masterpiece, [...]

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8. Cat’s Eye

Atwood is a master at conveying the inner landscape of her characters, and her novels are frequently peppered with sharp and incisive social commentary. Adored by both readers and critics, she has published over 40 works, including many books of poetry, and has won countless accolades, including the Booker Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke [...]

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9. All the Year Round, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations, 1859–1861

When, in 1859, Dickens decided to publish a statement in the press about his personal affairs he expected that Bradbury and Evans would run it in Punch, which they also published. He was furious when they, very reasonably, declined to insert ‘statements on a domestic and painful subject in the inappropriate columns of a comic miscellany’ (Patten, 262). He therefore determined to break with them completely and to return to his old publishers Chapman and Hall.

The post All the Year Round, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations, 1859–1861 appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Powell’s Q&A: Jesse Ball

Describe your latest book. I woke up one day from a sort of daydream with an idea for a book's structure, and for the thread of that book, one predicated upon the protagonist's loss of memory. In many cases, such memory losses are accidental or undesired, but in this case, it is an asked-for amnesia. [...]

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11. 10 things you may not know about Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys’s diary of the 1660s provides ample evidence that he enjoyed writing about himself. As a powerful naval administrator, he was also a great believer in the merits of official paperwork. The upshot is that he left behind many documents detailing the dangers and the pleasures of his life in London. Here are some facts about him that you may not know...

The post 10 things you may not know about Samuel Pepys appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. “You Want Me to Smell My Fingers?”: Five Unforgettable Greek Idioms

The word "idiom" originates in the Greek word ídios ("one's own") and means "special feature" or "special phrasing." Idioms are peculiar because, by definition, something that is one's own is impossible to translate or share. Idioms point to ideologies inherently foreign and strange. Taken word for word, they are often ridiculous and hilarious. But translating [...]

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13. Miss Havisham takes on the London Gentleman: An OWC audio guide to Great Expectations

Perhaps Dickens's best-loved work, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a young man with few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefactor allows him to escape the Kent marshes for a more promising life in London.

The post Miss Havisham takes on the London Gentleman: An OWC audio guide to Great Expectations appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. Your Imagination, Your Fingerprint

When I was in grad school, a teacher told our workshop that if a published novel is 300 pages, the writer had to generate 1,200 along the way. I didn't buy it. Maybe it took this teacher 1,200 pages to find the right 300, but I would never have to produce such excess. I'd maybe [...]

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15. Go Set a Watchman

Having sat unpublished for over half a century, the release of Harper Lee's first novel, set 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, is truly a literary event. Go Set a Watchman offers an illuminating look at familiar characters and places (Jean Louise Scout, Atticus, the town of Maycomb) transformed by time. Be among the [...]

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16. “Daemonic preludium”, an extract from The Daemon Knows

Our two most ambitious and sublime authors remain Walt Whitman and Herman Melville. Whitman creates from the powerful press of himself; Melville taps his pen deeply into the volcanic force of William Shakespeare.

The post “Daemonic preludium”, an extract from The Daemon Knows appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. Carefully constructed: The language of Franz Kafka

A few months ago I took part in a discussion of Kafka on Melvyn Bragg’s radio programme In Our Time. One of the other participants asserted that Kafka’s style describes horrific events in the emotionally deadpan tone of a bureaucrat report. This struck me immediately as wrong in lots of ways. I didn’t disagree, because time was short, and because I wouldn’t want to seem to be scoring points of a colleague. But it occurred to me that the speaker, a professor of English Literature, had probably only read Kafka in English, and only the old translations by W. and E. Muir.

The post Carefully constructed: The language of Franz Kafka appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. The tenacity of the Little Magazine in the digital age

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From a recent piece in the New Yorker by Stephen Burt on the plight/flight of the little magazine in the digital age:

Ditto machines in the nineteen-sixties and seventies, offset printing and, in the past two decades, Web-based publishing have made it at least seem easier for each new generation. In 1980, the Pushcart Press—known for its annual Pushcart Prizes—published a seven-hundred-and-fifty-page brick of a book, “The Little Magazine in America,” of memoirs and interviews with editors of small journals. “The Little Magazine in Contemporary America,” a much more manageable collection of interviews and essays that was published in April, looks at the years since then, the years that included—so say the book’s editors, Ian Morris and Joanne Diaz— “the end of the ascendancy of print periodicals,” meaning that the best small litmags have moved online.

The Little Magazine in America does indeed chronicle the history and trajectory of the “little magazine” through the past half-century of American life, from its origins in universities, urban centers and rural fringes, and among self-identified peers. Featuring contributions from the editors of BOMB and n + 1  to L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E and the Women’s Review of Books, Morris and Diaz’s collection pays special attention to the fate of these idiosyncratic cultural touchstones in an age fueled by financial crises and the ascendency of digital technology and web-and-device-based reading.

As Burt’s piece concludes:

A new journal needs a reason to exist: a gap that earlier journals failed to fill, a new form of pleasure, a new kind of writing, an alliance with a new or under-chronicled social movement, a constellation of authors for whom the future demand for work exceeds present supply, a program that will actually change some small part of some literary readers’ tastes. None of this has changed with the rise of the Web. Nor has the other big truth about little magazines which emerges from Diaz and Morris’s book, or from a day spent with anybody who runs one: it’s exhausting, albeit exciting, to do it yourself.

To read more about The Little Magazine in Contemporary America, click here.

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19. Alice down the microscope

Tomorrow Oxford will celebrate Alice’s Day, with mass lobster quadrilles, artwork and performances, croquet, talks, and teapot cocktails, and exhibitions of photographic and scientific equipment. The diverse ways in which Alice and her wonderland are remembered and recast reveal how both heroine and story continue to speak to many different kinds of audience, 150 years since Lewis Carroll’s book was first published.

The post Alice down the microscope appeared first on OUPblog.

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20. Summer House with Swimming Pool

Creepy and disturbing, Koch's Summer House with Swimming Pool is the story of one family and their unraveling one summer. Staying with an insufferable actor at his summer home, Dr. Marc Schlosser's vacation choice for his family is a dire one. As things begin to degrade and then worsen to disaster, Dr. Schlosser begins to think [...]

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21. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland artifacts: [slideshow]

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a children's story that has captivated the world since its publication in the 1860s. The book is celebrated each year on 4th July, which is also known as "Alice's Day", because this is the date that Charles Dodgson (known under the pen name of Lewis Carroll) took 10-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating trip in Oxford, and told the story that later evolved into the book that is much-loved across the world.

The post Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland artifacts: [slideshow] appeared first on OUPblog.

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22. Capturing the essence of Madame Bovary

The tragic story of Madame Bovary has been told and retold in a number of adaptations since the text's original publication in 1856 in serial form. But what differences from the text should we expect in the film adaptation? Will there be any astounding plot points left out or added to the mix?

The post Capturing the essence of Madame Bovary appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. Doña Barbara: Our free e-book for July

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Our free e-book for July is Doña Barbara by Rómulo Gallegos (“a Madame Bovary of the llano,” as Larry McMurtry hails it in his Foreword).

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Rómulo Gallegos is best known for being Venezuela’s first democratically elected president. But in his native land he is equally famous as a writer responsible for one of Venezuela’s literary treasures, the novel Doña Barbara. Published in 1929 and all but forgotten by Anglophone readers, Doña Barbara is one of the first examples of magical realism, laying the groundwork for later authors such as Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

Following the epic struggle between two cousins for an estate in Venezuela, Doña Barbara is an examination of the conflict between town and country, violence and intellect, male and female. Doña Barbara is a beautiful and mysterious woman—rumored to be a witch—with a ferocious power over men. When her cousin Santos Luzardo returns to the plains in order to reclaim his land and cattle, he reluctantly faces off against Doña Barbara, and their battle becomes simultaneously one of violence and seduction. All of the action is set against the stunning backdrop of the Venezuelan prairie, described in loving detail. Gallegos’s plains are filled with dangerous ranchers, intrepid cowboys, and damsels in distress, all broadly and vividly drawn. A masterful novel with an important role in the inception of magical realism, Doña Barbara is a suspenseful tale that blends fantasy, adventure, and romance.

Download your free copy, here.

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24. Suffer the Children

A fellow writer wants to know more about something I've written, something centering on a child's body at the center of the storm of war. She asks, "Why bring violence and sexuality so close to the body of a child?" Her eyes blur and magnify when she says it. I can hear the flutter of [...]

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25. The Small Backs of Children

Fiercely powerful, at times horrific, always gorgeous, Yuknavich's new novel does what she does best — makes you think. About writing, sexuality, brutality, the nature of our obsessions, the projections of our grief, and the strange, contradictory bits of architecture — both chasm and bridge — between reality and art. Books mentioned in this post [...]

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