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Author Archive

Norman MacLean’s Classic Jogs His Memory—and Jogs Ours Too

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Norman Maclean’s novel A River Runs Through It is a variation on the tale of the prodigal son, represented by the narrator's younger brother Paul, a gifted fly fisherman and newspaper reporter.

Getting Lost with Rebecca Solnit

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Prior to reading Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, I had assumed it was about getting lost in the physical sense, for the sake of exploring and enjoying the natural world. It is not that.

In Defense of the Reading

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Thanks mostly to the incredible work of the local bookstore chain Politics and Prose, I’ve seen some of my favorite authors and chatted, oh so briefly, with them after collecting their signatures. For someone who loves listening to authors talk, my cup runneth over.

All In: Great Books by Authors Who Immersed Themselves in the Story

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Anyone who is a writer is also a researcher. Stories sprung from one’s imagination are not exempt from these duties. Fiction writers frequently write about a time and place they know—think Conrad and the Congo in The Heart of Darkness or Harper Lee and the rural South. Similarly, writers

Smartphones Have Potential to Bring About Brave New World or 1984 or Both

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The smartphone wasn’t specifically prophesized by either Aldous Huxley in Brave New World or George Orwell in 1984, but the device is a manifestation of the dark vision both men had for how human beings relate to one another.

Thich Nhat Hanh: A Literary and Spiritual Inspiration

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One of the gifts Thich Nhat Hanh has in common with some of my other favorite authors is that when I read him I feel as if he is letting me and me alone in on a secret.

An Inquiry Into Brilliance: One Last Ride With Robert Pirsig

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Robert Pirsig died last month at the age of eighty-eight. His death was covered widely, but within a day or two it had been washed away by the torrent of offenses and outrages known as the “news cycle.”

The Arc of Joan Didion and Annie Dillard

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In my mind, Joan Didion and Annie Dillard are linked, two sides to the same coin, one the yin to the other’s yang. This is unfair to both women.

In Land There is Life, In Life There is Literature

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As our world has become less personal, more reliant on screens and therefore removed from the natural world, a certain cohort finds itself being pulled toward nature. Consider the rise of urban farming, sustainable agriculture, and food co-operatives. People have looked to the past to find the kind of

Download One of These Literary Podcasts Today

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We live in the Golden Age of podcasts. They’ve been around for a while, but the medium has exploded in the past few years. Whatever your interest, there is a podcast for you, probably several. It should come as no surprise that for the literary-inclined, podcasts represent an embarrassment