Author Archive

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

Short Stories Are Forgotten Grist for the Hollywood Mill

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January means it’s award season for the movie industry. As the nominations and trophies are being passed out, it’s a good time to note how the history of Hollywood is inextricably linked to the history of literature.

12 Books To Help You Survive 2017 And the Trump Era

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Many of us will need to cope with, resist, or try to understand (or all of the above) Trump in 2017. So, below are 12 books—one per month—that can help with those unexpected projects.

Trump’s Words Helped Him Win—And That’s Troubling

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The effects of this year’s presidential election, exhausting and exhaustive as it was, will reverberate locally, nationally and globally for decades. This is true of all presidential elections, but the contrast between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not have been more pronounced.