Anne Sexton

20 Great Biographies of Famous Authors

There’s always something exciting about reading a literary figure’s memoir, learning the details of their personal life (those they’re willing to share, anyway) and getting a glimpse into their creative process. But it’s perhaps more illuminating to read an outsider’s account of a literary great, assembled from years of reporting and sifting through private papers. A literary biography might not be as sensational as, say, the life story of a doomed Hollywood starlet (although certainly a fair number of novelists, playwrights, and poets have lived turbulent lives), but they do offer a complete picture that shatters the fourth walls of our favorite writers’ work. Here’s a collection of great bios that accomplish just… Read More

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Have You Taken the Rory Gilmore Reading Quiz?

From Angela’s Ashes to Anne Sexton, the younger Gilmore girl spent a good chunk of the show’s duration carrying around,… Read More

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Listen to 15 Literary Icons Reading Their Own Work

One of the most important experiences you can have with your favorite author is to hear them read aloud from their works. But many of us will never get the chance to see our most beloved writer in the flesh. So, after the jump is a collection of 15 writers — some alive, some long gone — reading their own words (all fiction, with the exception of William Faulkner, whose Nobel Prize speech is included because it’s now often taught alongside his novels and stories, and Joan Didion’s memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking).  … Read More

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9 Famous Authors Who Did Stints in Mental Institutions

Everyone knows that all authors are totally crazy, right? After all, that’s what makes so many of them so brilliant. But today, on the anniversary of Ezra Pound’s federally mandated release from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the criminally insane, where he had been held for 13 years following his arrest on charges of treason, we celebrate those authors who have actually been institutionalized for their mental illnesses (or, in some cases, for what others thought was mental illness). … Read More

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Rare Footage of Famous Authors

Savoring a book for weeks, months, and sometimes years inspires a natural curiosity about the person behind the words. Several scribes have reached cult celebrity status with voracious audiences, but others remain an enigma — their voices and image seldom captured, often due to lapses in technological advancement. After spotting a rare video featuring Nineteen Eighty-Four author George Orwell on Open Culture, we realized how many writers have evaded their close-up — by choice and by fate. Watch the rare footage of famous authors that we found after the break. The videos offer an intimate glimpse of literature’s most amazing minds. … Read More

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10 of the Most Bizarre Fairy Tale Adaptations

Today sees the release of Catherynne M. Valente’s Six-Gun Snow White, a novella that sets the classic tale of Snow White in the Old West — a trick we’ve never quite seen before. To celebrate the book, and to suggest a little extra reading to those who are excited about it, we’ve chosen ten bizarre, out-there literary adaptations of fairy tales (which, let’s be honest, started out pretty strange in the first place) to add to your library. Maybe not your kids’ libraries, though. After the jump, ten of the strangest, best fairy tale reinterpretations we’ve ever read — and as always, if we missed your favorite, add it to our list in the comments. … Read More

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Adorable Letters from Famous Authors to Their Children

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: it’s a shame people don’t write letters anymore. Especially writers, whose missives are often so beautifully composed and simply inspiring that we hoard them in volume upon volume. We’ve already put together a collection of authors’ letters to their young fans, but this week, we spotted this wonderful letter from Sherwood Anderson to his son over at Brain Pickings, and we were inspired to dig a little further into the letters writers send their own children. After the jump, read loving, advice-filled, gentle parental love letters from some of our favorite authors to some of their favorite people — their kids. … Read More

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A Required Reading List For the End of the World

Well, we’ve made it folks: it’s the end of the world. Or, er, maybe it will be, sometime today. In these end times, we’ve been thinking about our dear friend P.J. O’Rourke, who once quipped a quip that’s always nagging at the back of our minds: “always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” Well, readers, the day has come. Now, whether anyone else will be around to see your cool death-read is a separate question, but if you need a little guidance as to what to keep on your person for posterity, we’re here for you. After the jump, a few books we think would send you off with a bang — whether today or years from now. Get on it. … Read More

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Take a Dip: Literary Greats In Their Bathing Suits

[Editor's note: Your devoted Flavorwire team is taking Memorial Day off, but we've left you with some of our favorite summer-related features that you may have missed the first time around. This post originally ran June 26, 2011. Enjoy!]

We don’t know about you, but now that it’s officially summertime, we want to spend as much time in our bathing suits as humanly possible, and so, it seems, did many of our favorite writers. After all, even the moodiest of authors needs a little sunshine now and again to chase the pain away. Whether that works or not is a whole other story. Click through for our gallery of literary greats in their bathing suits, but be warned — they’re not all pin-up shots. Sure, Sylvia and Anne are bathing beauties in addition to being quality wordsmiths, but old Ernest looks decidedly doughy around the edges. Oh well, he had other talents. All we wonder is, what were they reading on the beach? … Read More

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How to Drink Like Your Favorite Authors

[Editor's note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we're revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published June 12, 2011.] It’s a well-known stereotype that many literary authors are also raging drunkards. Which, forgive us, doesn’t make us want to emulate them any less. In fact, now that it’s summer, we can’t think of anything better than to sip a cool drink while typing away at our — er, laptops — out on the porch in the sweet summer night air. So in the interest of pure academic speculation, we’ve comprised a roundup of some of our favorite writers and the drinks they favored during all their late work nights and boozy afternoons. We’re not saying that downing a mojito will make you write like Hemingway, but hey — it couldn’t hurt. Click though for our list, and let us know what beverages you favor during your own deep contemplations and compositions. … Read More

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