Author Archive

Harper Lee and the Politics of Genius in Today’s Age

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The intensity of the reaction to news of beloved author Harper Lee publishing a sequel to her masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird, is ironic, given the very reasons we thought we’d never see this day come: Lee often proclaimed that her first book had said all she wanted to say,

Round Down: Is Reading a Right or a Privilege?

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After almost a year of protests by free speech advocates and famous authors, the UK’s Ministry of Justice is going to give prisoners the right to receive books in parcels from family, starting in February. Perhaps the most curious aspect of this case is not that books, among other items

Round Down: The Complicated Response to Charlie Hebdo

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As anyone paying even the remotest of attention to the news this past week, we all know this is a sobering time for journalists, satirists, publishing professionals, and supporters of free speech. The brutal murder of staff and police at Charlie Hebdo magazine offices by Muslim extremists, along with violent

Round-Down: Is Evaluating Great Literature A Democratic or Elitist Prospect?

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With many year-end best of 2014 book lists pouring out on the tail end of the National Book Award announcements last month, as well as with prize nominations opening up this month for the Pulitzers, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about literary merit prizes and how they influence

Round-Down: The Black and White Business of Confronting Racism in Literature

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Like most Americans, I’ve been stunned the last few months by the verdicts in Ferguson and New York. Tens of thousands of protestors, black, white and brown, have taken to the streets and to social media to voice their protest and outrage at the implicit message received from these