Please, Let’s Not Extend the Literary Genre Wars to Kids’ Books

Now that the furor has died down around an essay scolding adults who read children’s literature for engaging in a lowbrow and immature pursuit, the question has arisen: are kids who read this stuff also lowbrow? A piece by Rebecca Mead in The New Yorker takes square aim at popular kids’ literature, even when it’s only meant for kids. … Read More

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Why We Can’t Stop Reading — and Writing — Jane Austen Sequels

Death Comes to Pemberley comes to American TV screens this Sunday night (be not alarmed, dear sirs and madams, for Flavorwire will provide recaps of each installment). For those who don’t know, it’s a mini-series based on a book by P.D. James which is itself a mystery novel based on the characters and locations from Pride and Prejudice. This unauthorized sequel places the married Elizabeth and Darcy and their estate in the middle of a British murder mystery with clues hidden on the grounds, ancestral secrets and frowning magistrates galore. But books like this are nothing new: readers have had a burning desire to return to Pemberley and peek in on Darcy and Elizabeth since the beginning of Austen’s… Read More

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‘Harry Potter”s Villainous Professor Umbridge Will Get Her Own Little Backstory This Halloween

If Harry Potter‘s Voldemort represented the degeneration of the human spirit into the typical, ruthless villainy seen in most… Read More

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Are Amazon’s Bullying Days Over? We’re About to Find Out

America’s most reputable company (?!) is set to report Q3 losses of between 57 to 75 cents per share, by some predictions, when the market closes today. No sweat. Amazon hasn’t turned a third quarter profit in three years. Still, for those who are paying attention, Bezos & Co. have been acting weird as hell lately. … Read More

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“I Did Not Wake Up Like This”: Janet Mock and Tavi Gevinson Talk Impostor Syndrome, Celebrity, and the Internet

There may have only been one flower crown in the audience at last night’s launch for Rookie Yearbook Three, but the online publication’s ethos was otherwise on full display: dyed hair, #snackwave, DIY bangs, and the unfettered, post-ironic enthusiasm that leads to fan gestures like bringing a box of chocolates for the editor-in-chief, Tavi Gevinson, and writer/activist Janet Mock. Onstage at New York’s Housing Works Bookstore last night, Gevinson and Mock talked impostor syndrome, public identity, and the platform on which they both established themselves: the Internet. … Read More

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Hanne Blank on M.F.K. Fisher and the Art of Seduction: An Excerpt From ‘Icon’

In the new book Icon, edited by Amy Scholder, fearless feminist writers and Rick Moody talk about some of our most notorious, beguiling, and trailblazing feminist figures. It’s a stacked lineup of fascination, including Mary Gaitskill on Linda Lovelace, Kate Zambreno on Kathy Acker, Danielle Henderson on bell hooks, and Johanna Fateman on Andrea Dworkin. One of my favorite essays was Hanne Blank’s sensual look at how seduction works in the food-and-everything writing of M.F.K. Fisher. Read an excerpt from Blank’s essay below; Icon is now available in stores and online. — Elisabeth Donnelly … Read More

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‘Never Can Say Goodbye': New York City Is a Hell You Can Never Leave

Hell’s Kitchen. Hell Gate. Richard Hell. The signs (and wonders) are everywhere. Abandon all hope: New York City is a living Hell of renegade capital, exploited labor, racial hatred, institutional misogyny, and bodega cats. You must say goodbye.

Or is it a neoliberal paradise, imperfect yet lovable, where capital and culture and rats roam free? … Read More

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Lena Dunham Emails Zadie Smith About Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, Plus Other Revelations from the ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ Tour

Last night, Lena Dunham brought her 12-city book tour behind Not That Kind of Girl back home with a variety show of quirk, feminism, and friendship for Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Unbound series. The 90-minute event moved quickly, starting with cat-driven stand-up from Mike Birbiglia and a three-song set from Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers (familiar to Not That Kind of Girl readers in the role of good-guy boyfriend). Dunham read two pieces from her nonfiction collection — an essay about her younger sister, Grace, and one of the book’s humorous lists of gaffes — to the intimate crowd, which included her mother Laurie Simmons and actor Jon Glaser (Parks and Recreation) sitting in the front row. Then the show really began. … Read More

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