Not so much into March Madness? Well, perhaps you should look at it another way. March is the perfect month for reading books about madness — it is a transitional time, after all, possessed of both lion and lamb. Plus, you’ll have ample reading time, both outside and inside. The books herein, it should be noted, are those that deal with a kind of literary madness — obsession and absurdity and hallucination — not directly focusing on mental illness proper, whenever the two can be separated. So you won’t find The Bell Jar or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Yellow Wallpaper here, though those are all excellent… Read More
In The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, open-mouthed, says “I’ve never heard of a beautiful witch before,” Glinda famously quips that only bad witches are ugly. But ’tis not so — or at least, there are plenty of very bad witches who are the opposite of ugly: beautiful, sexy, charming, devastatingly intelligent, or all of the above. So, in honor of J.K. Rowling’s outrage that we all love Draco so much, here’s 50 villains that we wouldn’t kick out of… Read More
We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. Good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Well, read some dark books, of course. Because there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. Read on for 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to… Read More
With not one, but two novels featuring Jane Austen, one featuring the ghost of Dorothy Parker, and a third about Virginia Woolf and her sister hitting shelves soon, it seemed like a good time to survey the entire “writer-as-character” category of novels. Who are the most popular fictionalized writers? It’s no surprise to see a ton of Shakespeares, Dickenses, and Brontës scampering with pens through the pages of other peoples’ novels. But a graphic-novel Susan Sontag? Cranky Robert Frost? Witty Alexander Pope? These are some of the delights we uncovered for your reading… Read More
Though a great many literary novels have novelists as protagonists — e.g. Roth’s Nathan Zuckerman, or Chabon’s Grady Tripp, and that’s just for starters — much fewer explicitly take their inspiration from real-life writers. Or at least, they didn’t until recently, partly because of a certain stigma that has always attached to biography and biographers, the idea that they are people who sort through other people’s garbage in search of a crucial piece of mail. This is gossip, a lot of novelists complain, not literature.
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Earlier this week, writer Matthue Roth published My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs, a collection of Kafka stories re-told for children. This is a brilliant idea, since anyone exposed to Kafka at a young age is likely to grow up stranger and better — even if it’s only a form of Kafka. Here at the Flavorwire office, the book sparked a few conversations about age-appropriate reading, and more than one story about a great book read too early. Some of us still have the scars. After the jump, check out the literary regrets of a selection of staffers who read the classics much too early, and then let us know which non-age-appropriate read still haunts you in the comments.
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What colors are the insides of your favorite novels? Well, sure, the off-white of a book page — but what about the worlds they create? In artist Jaz Parkinson‘s color charts project, he has created graphic signatures of novels’ visual content, building mini rainbows that correspond to classic works. Needless to say, there’s a lot of red (blood) and white (milk) in A Clockwork Orange, and miles of black in McCarthy’s The Road.
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In Wild Girls, Mary Stewart Atwell’s new debut novel, the young ladies of Swan River are changing. The “wild girls,” teenagers suddenly imbued with supernatural powers that give them both the ability and the will to murder, menace the town while Kate Riordan tries to hang on to both her life and her sanity. Inspired by this impressive debut, we’ve put together a list of what we consider to be some of the wildest teenagers in literature — from gang members to errant soldiers to kids making the best of a bad situation by going feral. See our choices after the jump, and if we missed your favorite literary teen on a rampage, be sure to add to our list in the comments.
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