Books

‘The Story of the Lost Child’: Elena Ferrante Concludes Her Tetralogy on Female Friendship and Feminist Doubles

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Doubles — whether twisted sisterhoods or dark mother-daughter duos — are a common feature of feminist fiction. They appear in many iconic works, from Bertha, the infamous madwoman in the attic whose violence symbolizes Jane Eyre’s suppressed rage to saintly-or-evil Rebecca, laughing from beyond death at the mousy second Mrs. DeWinter, to the returned spirit of Beloved torturing her mother, Sethe, the two women growing and shrinking in proportion to each other.
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The Uses of Decadence: On Edward St. Aubyn’s ‘A Clue to the Exit’

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“Decadence” is one of those words whose meanings have been eroded by capitalism’s favorite destroyer of language, advertising. In 2015, you can eat a decadent dessert or rent a decadent hotel suite or find it almost unbearably decadent to nap in the middle of a weekday afternoon. Whereas decadence used to mean ostentatious overindulgence as a symptom of a culture in decline, now it just means ostentatious overindulgence — because, presumably, you deserve it!
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Nicholas Hoult Will Play J.D. Salinger in ‘Empire’ Creator Danny Strong’s Biopic

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Deadline reports that Nicholas Hoult has been cast as J.D. Salinger in the upcoming biopic, Rebel in the Rye. The first words of the synopsis could describe any biopic, claiming to explore Salinger’s “life and mind.” The film will depict the author’s life leading up to the birth of Catcher in the Rye, after which he stopped publishing his writing and chose to live in relative seclusion.
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Flavorwire Interview: Mary Shelley Biographer Charlotte Gordon on the Life, Loves, and Legacy of the Influential ‘Frankenstein’ Author

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Happy 218th birthday to Mary Shelley, Frankenstein author, feminist, and daughter of writer and women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft. The lives and esteemed works of both Marys were recently explored in the book Romantic Outlaws, a fascinating dual biography written by Charlotte Gordon. Our own Sarah Seltzer called the text “immense, and immensely readable.” Flavorwire spoke to Gordon about Mary Shelley’s creative legacy, her struggles for legitimacy while in a marriage that often overshadowed her literary contributions, and the influence of her pioneering mother on her life and work.
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