25 Authors Who Wrote Great Books Before They Turned 25

Picture it: teenage Mary Shelley was on a vacation getaway, with her husband Percy and some of his rambunctious poet friends, like that rogue Lord Byron… and out of the group of legends, it’s Shelley herself who arguably published the greatest work of all at the ridiculous age of 30: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a book that has penetrated our human consciousness. In honor of Shelley’s birthday this month, here’s a list of 25 other writers who created heartbreakingly beautiful work before they could get a discount on a rental… Read More

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2014 Hugo Award Winners Announced

Yesterday, at the 72nd Wold Science Fiction Convention, the World Science Fiction Society announced the winners of the 2014… Read More

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An Afternoon Drink With ‘My Drunk Kitchen’ Star and Cookbook Author Hannah Hart

Hannah Hart may have a YouTube show-turned-small media empire and brand new cookbook called My Drunk Kitchen, but over the course of a hour-long interview at Tom and Jerry’s bar in Soho, she wasn’t sipping anything. True to the ethos of her show, she may have looked like the biggest lush in the room, with two red-hot cocktails (because cocktail number one got spilled and the bartender made her another) and a ginger beer sitting in front of her. But she didn’t take a sip, and wasn’t particularly interested in the drink. She was too busy talking and joking. … Read More

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Jonathan Franzen Is No Martin Amis: Where Are America’s Literary Lotharios?

Over at The Guardian this morning, Sam Leith dissects “Why we love to hate Martin Amis,” especially, as now, when he has a new novel on the horizon. The verdict? It’s because he’s surly. It’s because he’s outspoken and sometimes offensive. It’s because of all his rumored fallings-out and romantic encounters and love children and that whole thing about his teeth. It’s because he’s, in general, “funny and outraging.” It’s also because, to varying degrees, he positions himself to be all those things. There is a kind of merry war betwixt the UK press and him, and it’s all very entertaining. … Read More

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Journalist and Screenwriter Jon Ronson on Writing ‘Frank,’ Twitter Shame, and His Real-Life Past With Outsider Art

Handsome Michael Fassbender wears a giant paper maché head with a face on it for the duration of the fantastic new movie Frank. That’s the weird selling point for a movie that’s ostensibly about a guy wearing a paper maché head, but it turns out that there’s a lot more bubbling under the surface of Frank. It’s a film about the human urge for creativity and transcendence in the face of mental illness and, well, on the other hand, naive youthfulness through the adventures of the world’s greatest outsider art band. And the best part is that Frank, the character in the movie, is not just a creation straight from the head of co-screenwriters Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan — although you could imagine that was the case, especially if you’re familiar with Ronson’s endlessly curious, wide-ranging journalism for The Guardian, GQ, and This American Life, among others. … Read More

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It’s OK to Start Out Reading ‘Harry Potter’ — But Not Because It’s a Gateway Book

In a recent essay at the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks argues against the prevailing notion that it is A-OK for people, particularly young people, to read lowbrow/genre novels because “so long as they are reading something there’s at least a chance that one day they’ll move on to something better.” He essentially argues that that never happens, and moreover that, “If anything, genre fiction prevents engagement with literary fiction, rather than vice versa, partly because of the time it occupies, but more subtly because while the latter is of its nature exploratory and potentially unsettling the former encourages the reader to stay in a comfort zone.” … Read More

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“Love Is the Closest Thing We Have to Magic in Real Life”: YA Writer Stephanie Perkins on ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’

A good romantic comedy is a hard thing to find, and in the span of a few short years, young adult writer Stephanie Perkins has established herself as a wonderful writer of sweet and smart romantic comedies, with a loosely connected triptych of teenage love stories set in fabulous cities: Anna and the French Kiss (Paris), Lola and the Boy Next Door (San Francisco), and her newest book, Isla and the Happily Ever After (New York, Barcelona, Paris). There’s an earnest charm and swooning sincerity to her work, and the characters and cities unfold like a sweet teenage dream. Isla starts out with shy cartoonist Josh falling for the titular unconventional redhead, and the way their relationship unfolds is a delicious surprise — through Paris and New York, beyond the stresses of senior year, and other factors like being a senator’s son or having a best friend with Asperger’s. Isla is an entrancing conclusion to a delightful series, and we were excited to talk to Perkins about her writing process, romance, and her feelings about YA and adults. … Read More

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The Executor for George Orwell’s Literary Estate Responds to Amazon’s “Doublespeak”

Bill Hamilton, the executor of George Orwell’s literary estate, has some strong words for Amazon’s quoting of Orwell… Read More

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