Books

17 Pathbreaking Non-Binary and Gender-Fluid Novels

Contemporary literature is an amorphous, expansive thing, and it isn’t always easy to pinpoint how or why it is changing or what it may become. But in the current moment, at least one promising development is certain: literary writing that challenges or refuses stable gender binaries is of increasing critical and aesthetic prominence. The last month alone has seen the publication and widespread critical acclaim of Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, a moving, multi-genre consideration of gender fluidity (among other themes). At the end of April, too, American audiences were finally able to access Anne Garétta’s Sphinx — wonderfully translated from the French by Emma Ramadan — a novel that uses no gender markers to refer to its protagonists. With these books in mind, the list below contains a collection of novels that feature agender, bigender, or gender-fluid characters or… Read More

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Excellent Edwardian Novels You Can Read Right Now

Art and literature from the Edwardian era has often been overshadowed by its fruitful cousin, the Victorian era, but pop culture moments like the success of Downton Abbey have helped to inspire curiosity about this empowering and innovative period in history. This weekend, we’re celebrating the birthday of Scottish author and Edwardian gent J. M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, with an Edwardian reading list. Best of all, you can read these books online right now. … Read More

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Violent, Erotic Illustrations for Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

When we think of the Brothers Grimm, we often think of their fairy tales as children’s stories — and, to be fair, the stories were labeled as such early and often. But the original narratives, the unsanitized versions of the tales, featured explicit representations of violence and sexuality. It was only in the later editions that the stories were fumigated in the suffocating gas of morality. … Read More

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How Orson Welles Almost Made His Film Debut With an Innovative ‘Heart of Darkness’ Adaptation

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Orson Welles, one of the cinema’s foremost artists — and one of its greatest tragedies, personifying as he does the industry’s predilection for chewing up great filmmakers and spitting them out, leaving them to scrounge for scraps. The tale of Welles’ post-Citizen Kane career has been told and told (his masterpiece debut all but blackballed by a bitter William Randolph Hearst and an indifferent industry, its follow-up massacred by a nervous studio, his remaining films scraped together on the cheap and treated poorly by studios, distributors and audiences), and these days, there’s nearly as much ink devoted to the films he didn’t make or complete — due to financial troubles, rights issues, and the like — as those he did. But for this fan, the most fascinating of the Welles movies that never happened would’ve been his first feature: an ambitious film adaptation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, potentially as groundbreaking as Kane, the film he settled on when Darkness fell apart. … Read More

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A Forgotten Collection of Writing by Mark Twain — Expressing Suicidal Thoughts and Disdain for Opera — Has Been Uncovered

It’s hard to believe that in 2015, new writing by Mark Twain could suddenly appear. But it has. Bob Hirst and the people… Read More

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A Millennial Jane Eyre Searches for Identity in Patricia Park’s ‘Re Jane’

To be convinced of the idea that Austen, the Brontës, and other 19th-century female writers are part of a “Girl Canon” that influences a great deal of female and feminist writing to this day, look no further than the consistent appearance of literary updates on shelves at any given moment, from the billions of Austen re-imaginings to Wuthering High School on Lifetime to Patricia Park’s Re Jane, a literary twist on Jane Eyre set variously among Korean immigrants in Queens, progressive yuppies in Brooklyn, and trendy youth in Seoul. … Read More

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What Do We Want from Writing? Money? A Career? Recognition?

It’s time to rethink everything. Everything. What it means to write and what it means to write for a public — and which public. What do I want from this writing? Money? A career? Recognition? A place in the community? A change in the government? World peace? Is it an artifice, is it therapy? Is it therapy because it is an artifice, or in spite of that? Does it have to do with constructing an identity, a position in society? Or simply with entertaining myself, with entertaining others? Will I still write if they don’t pay… Read More

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Neil Gaiman Announced as a New Host for PEN Gala in Wake of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Controversy

After numerous PEN writers stepped down due to PEN’s controversial decision to honor the satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo in… Read More

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Syfy Picks Up Series Based on Lev Grossman’s ‘The Magicians’

Syfy has picked up a 12-episode series based on Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy trilogy, The Magicians, after having ordered a pilot… Read More

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