Books

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: “Benihana” by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire will be posting a poem a day. LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs provides today’s poem, and… Read More

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25 Samuel Beckett Quotes That Sum Up the Hilarious Tragedy of Human Existence

We’d like to wish avant-garde icon Samuel Beckett a happy birthday, but something tells us he’d take issue with that. Beckett’s words are tender blows to the heart — superbly morose, always acerbic, and unrelentingly pessimistic. The novelist and playwright had a lot to say about the absurdities of modern life and the tragicomic nature of human existence. Taking quotes from his prolific oeuvre and other sources, celebrate Beckett’s birthday by revisiting his thoughts on the boredom and suffering of being. … Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Muriel Spark’s ‘The Driver’s Seat’ Is a Brief Yet Powerful Thrill Ride

The first two words of the third chapter of Muriel Spark’s scant little book The Driver’s Seat should be an all-caps “SPOILER ALERT.” After all, this is how she begins the chapter, just 25 pages into the narrative: “She will be found tomorrow morning dead from multiple stab-wounds, her wrists bound with a silk scarf and her ankles bound with a man’s necktie, in the grounds of an empty villa, in a park of the foreign city to which she is traveling on the flight now boarding at Gate 14.” … Read More

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National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: ‘At This Moment of Time’ by Delmore Schwartz

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire will be posting a poem a day. For today’s installment, we present a… Read More

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Book of the Week: ‘The Marrying of Chani Kaufman’ by Eve Harris

Novelists, more often than not, are tourists in their own stories. They travel to unfamiliar places and commit minor transgressions, from comically butchering the local tongue to ignoring the customs and traditions of the place they’re visiting. The ugly tourist, the one with very little regard for the place they’re visiting, only impressed by the scenery and the exoticism of someplace unfamiliar, has a literary match in the ugly novelist: one who picks a place or culture for their own artistic gains and totally fails to write an adequate representation. … Read More

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“You’re Not Just a Reporter, You’re a Citizen”: Katherine Boo and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc Talk Ethics, Social Justice, and Their Next Books at the NYPL

Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx are two masterpieces of narrative nonfiction that everyone must read to understand the consequences of globalization and how women and children are yoked into poverty. Both books, the debuts of their respective authors, are the result of years of rigorous reporting, and both books look on these lives with neutral, compassionate eyes. They’re brilliant, infuriating works that have won slews of awards, and they should encourage the reader to do something. … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Adrian Tomine on Drawing Everyday People and Fantasies of Writing a Novel

Although he’s originally from California, if you look at any of Adrian Tomine’s many illustrations for publications named after the city that he currently calls home, it’s difficult to think of Tomine as anything other than a New York artist. His work for The New Yorker and New York magazine capture the everyday look and feel of contemporary New York City, with single scenes begging you to fill in the blanks for the rest of the story: the New Yorker out of his element (in this particular case, a Yankees fan in a sea of Red Sox caps), two readers on passing subways making eye contact, and the bored teenage tourist reading great literature set in the city instead of looking at the tourist destinations. If you’ve spent any prolonged amount of time here, Tomine’s illustrations are scenes with which you’re familiar. … Read More

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This Year’s Guggenheim Fellows Include Susan Orlean and Claire Watkins

The Guggenheim fellows were announced this morning, and a slew of excellent writers have been honored with “on the basis… Read More

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Beautiful Vintage Photos of Bygone Bookstores

In this age of online ordering, physical bookstores aren’t getting all the love and attention they deserve. But you know that already. So before you head out to your local bookseller to pick up the latest new thing, perhaps you would like to indulge in some literary nostalgia and appease your book-beauty tooth (you know you’ve got one) with these lovely old photos of old bookstores (in some of which you could, at one time, find old books). And all right, not all are complete bygones — some, improbably, wonderfully, are still standing — but they don’t look quite like this anymore, and so the vintage-photo-ogling endures. After the jump, check out a selection of lovely vintage photos of old bookstores, and be sure to link to any of your favorites that are missing here in the comments. … Read More

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