6 Great Examples of Dirty and Gritty American Fiction

In the introduction to the latest (and best issue in quite some time) of Granta, “American Wild,” editor Sigrid Rausing tells a story about hitting the open road across America in the early 1980s and coming to the realization that, “this is America: a genuinely wild land.” The anecdote got us to thinking about books that really capture the raw beauty, as well as the dangers, that America has to offer from sea to shining sea. These are novels that especially evoke mental imagery of broken down towns, large swaths of wilderness, and other places you might not want to get lost in. … Read More

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50 Excellent Novels by Female Writers Under 50 That Everyone Should Read

It’s pretty much been settled that everyone should read more books by women. But when looking for recommendations, it’s often all Woolf, Morrison, Lessing, Austen, Brontë. Of course, these are essential authors for a reason, and you should definitely read all of their books. That said, there’s something to catching a writer at the beginning of her career and following her for years that is supremely satisfying — not to mention the fact that young female writers need readers rather more than Jane Austen does. So in an effort to get you in on the ground floor (or at least, like, the third floor), here’s a compendium of 50 novels written by 50 female novelists under 50 that are worth your… Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: ‘The Art of John Alvin’ Showcases Movie-Poster Rarities From ‘Blade Runner’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Remember when movie posters were iconic? Back in those days, American artist John Alvin created some of the most crucial key art for the movies that shaped your world (and childhood, quite possibly), including E.T. the Extra-Terrestial, Blade Runner, and Gremlins, among countless others. (The Amblin look of Steven Spielberg’s ’80s films, in particular, was very “Alvin-esque.”) In the new book The Art of John Alvin, the artist’s posters stand side by side with the sketches, drawings, and other work that led up to the final result. Click through for a collection of some of his most iconic work, along with plenty you’ve probably never seen before. … Read More

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The ‘Outlander’ Books Are Feminism’s Answer to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The hype surrounding STARZ’s new adaption of Outlander may come from the fact that it’s a new series by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, or that it stars the Internet’s new crush Sam Heughan, but what you may not know is that Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of historical novels has been around since the early ’90s — and that her take on raunch, romance, and time travel might just be feminism’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Thomas Ligotti Enthusiasts Accuse ‘True Detective’ Creator Nic Pizzolatto of Plagiarism

Anyone who came out of Season 1 of True Detective describing it as a pseudo-intellectualism-peppered CSI will love this: enthusiasts… Read More

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Why Contemporary Feminism Needs Roxane Gay’s ‘Bad Feminist’

If you have been reading The Rumpus, Salon, BuzzFeed, or the Virginia Quarterly Review in the past five years, it’s very likely that you’ve come across, read, and quite possibly shared as some moving truth at least one of the many, many essays by the writer Roxane Gay. It’s almost easy to take Gay for granted, as she can be such a strong voice of reason when the world feels half-mad, whether she’s analyzing Wendy Davis’ filibuster or the continued popularity of Chris Brown among girls who claim that they love him so much they would let him beat them. … Read More

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Beyond ‘Just Kids': A Pocket Guide to Patti Smith’s Non-Fiction

New York Times readers might have noted with interest the byline on the paper’s review of Haruki Murakami’s new book — it was written by none other than Patti Smith. This is perhaps not as surprising as it might first appear, because Smith hasn’t been averse to issuing an opinion over the years, and she’s written non-fiction throughout her career, most notably in the 1970s. Her writings have covered a fascinating range of subject matter. If you’re interested in delving further into her criticism, there’s an essential reading list just one click… Read More

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‘Unbroken’ and ‘Seabiscuit’ Author Laura Hillenbrand Is America’s Greatest Working Nonfiction Writer

Laura Hillenbrand, the author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (now available in paperback, years after its 2010 release — which means it has been steadily selling many, many copies) is simply one of the best nonfiction writers we have working today. She has a knack for finding incredible stories, a genius for thorough research, and all that work comes together in seamless, gripping storytelling. … Read More

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