Slate Archive

The Readers: Katy Waldman and the Uses of Wit

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For the young, left-leaning reader, there are plenty of smart literary voices online to choose from, but I often find myself gravitating toward the work of Katy Waldman, a staff writer at Slate whose literary criticism offers some of the freshest takes on books that you are likely to

Round-Down: On Women Writers And the Fallout from ‘Confession’ in the Digital Age

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Social media is in the spotlight—or crosshairs, as it may be–in the literary landscape this week. Several articles and author interviews have touched upon both the benefits and the tremendous costs known to an author maintaining their online presence, none of them coming to a firm conclusion about whether it’s better to be

Round-Down: Book Readings In the Sky

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Southwest Airlines recently started holding book readings on their flights. The airline has a history of bringing spontaneous and entertaining events aboard: there was at one point an Imagine Dragons appearance, and once even a wedding. The involved writers are compensated in free airfare, the passengers with free readings–which might

The Ploughshares Round-Down: How To Screw Up A Book Proposal

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When I first start working on a proposal or a manuscript with a writer, I tell them I have two stages of advice: breaking things and fixing things. At first, I’m going to keep asking hard questions and recommending big changes, until I think the writer has said what that writer wanted

Five Reasons Not To Feel Guilty About Reading YA

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One of the many challenges of being a teen is navigating what’s cool and what’s uncool. Are jeans dyed deep blue or acid-washed? Which bands have sold out? Which Youtube video is hilarious and which has been over-shared? It’s way easier to maintain an overall condescending attitude and look

Blurbese: “best”

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Santa’s not the only one who makes lists in December: come the end of the year, anyone who’s ever expressed a passing literary opinion has their own rundown of the year’s best books. But book reviewers rarely use these lists as an opportunity to promote the year’s objectively “best”