Alexandre Dumas

The Authors With the Juiciest Love Lives

Today marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, the French novelist and performer who was, during her lifetime, hailed as France’s greatest female writer. She also had a particularly exciting love life, and a pretty stupendous life in general, and her sensual semi-autobiographical novels continue to delight readers to this day. To honor Colette’s birthday, we’ve put together a list of a few of the famous authors with the juiciest love lives, to inspire us all to love a little more extravagantly. And hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Read about them after the jump, and if we’ve forgotten your favorite tale of literary romance, add it to our list in the comments. … Read More

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10 of the Best “Makeovers” in Literature

Yesterday, Emma Straub’s excellent debut novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures waltzed onto bookshelves everywhere. We loved the book, which follows a young girl’s rise to stardom in Old Hollywood, as she transforms from a sunny country bumpkin to a savvy brunette bombshell to something else entirely. Inspired by the novel, which is full of many transformations, both literal and somewhat more metaphorical, we’ve put together a few of our favorite makeovers in literature — from the kind achieved with a little spit and polish to the sort that requires a vast internal sea change. Click through to see which we picked, and let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More

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An Essential French Lit Reading List for Bastille Day

Tomorrow is Bastille Day, or as the French call it, la Fête Nationale or le quatorze juillet, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, the flashpoint of the French Revolution that symbolizes the birth of the modern nation. So basically the French version of the fourth of July, only slightly bloodier and with more presidential garden parties. In honor of the French’s national holiday, we’ve put together a list of essential French literature to get anyone in the spirit. And obviously, there’s no way to distill the literature of an entire country into a ten point list, so these are just some of our favorites — chime in with your own in the comments. Vive la révolution! … Read More

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