Cormac McCarthy

The 50 Best Southern Novels Ever Written

The American South has long been seen as the focus of the country’s Civil Rights Movement, carrying with it the stigma of poverty, racism, and anti-intellectualism. Yet the region has also produced a disproportionate number of intellectuals, poets, and writers, possibly because of the complicated and layered identities each Southerner holds within him- or herself. The South has begotten some of our nation’s most important authors, including prize winners like William Styron, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Ralph Ellison, Harper Lee, and that titan of American letters, William Faulkner. These 50 novels are a reminder that the South cannot be defined solely by its failings; it is also responsible for shaping the minds of countless thinkers who offered to American literature essential insights about not only their region but the world at… Read More

  • 0

10 Compelling Unnamed Protagonists in Literature

Happy birthday, Ralph Ellison. The late author is perhaps most famous for his 1952 existentialist novel, Invisible Man, which touched upon issues facing African-Americans, as told through one man’s search for his identity in New York City during the 1930s. The title spent 16 weeks on the best-seller list and won the prestigious National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. Ellison’s use of the nameless protagonist echoes themes of social blindness throughout the novel. The narrator describes himself as “invisible” in the prologue:

I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids — and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.

Sometimes misunderstood, other times preferring the cloak of anonymity, the unnamed protagonist has acted as the voice of many throughout literature. Here are ten compelling uses of the literary device. … Read More

  • 0

10 Authors on James Joyce

Happy birthday to literature’s modernist master, James Joyce. Writers are still finding devastatingly beautiful ways to describe the impact that the Ulysses author continues to have on their work, paying homage to one of the most innovative writers of the twentieth century. Here are ten authors on the Irish novelist’s work, life, and enduring influence. … Read More

  • 0

10 Cold Weather Book and Music Pairings for Deep Thinkers

Reading a book while listening to music that relies heavily on a singer is a difficult challenge, as the lyrics that are being crooned or screamed into your ears (or both, if you’re going through Nick Cave’s discography) could interfere with your ability to soak up every word on the page. But let’s say you really want to listen to Nick Cave while you’re reading. What works best if you want to really concentrate on a book while listening to music? In honor of the current cold snap, which may well be keeping you inside with your paperback and vinyl libraries, we present a second round of suggestions. … Read More

  • 0

See the Trailer for James Franco’s Adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Child of God’

Cormac McCarthy’s 1973 novel Child of God, now being adapted by none other than James Franco, speaks to the apprehension… Read More

  • 0

10 Tales of Off-the-Grid Adventure and Introspection

The son of a spiritualist and astrologer, Jack London maintained more earthly interests throughout his lifetime. He was drawn to the tangible, natural elements of the world — especially the great, white wilderness of the chilly Alaskan landscape. Through his own mythos, he pondered the internal monologue of man and beast in those conditions. Today is the White Fang and The Call of the Wild author’s birthday, and we’re celebrating with ten books that also go off the grid. These fictional and true-life tales highlight the inherent adventure, mystique, and philosophical draw of stories set in the great outdoors. … Read More

  • 0

50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers

Maybe it’s a Pavlovian response to years of schooling, or that the brisk weather affords more hours inside, or something else entirely, but the fact is this: November seems like the time to take on the heftiest reading on your list. And let’s face the facts: some books are only for the toughest readers on the block, your Sylvester Stallones of literature, as it were. So for those of you who count yourself tough, here’s a list of books for you: some absurdly long, some notoriously difficult, some with intense or upsetting subject matter but blindingly brilliant prose, some packed into formations that require extra effort or mind expansion, and some that fit into none of those categories, but are definitely for tough girls (or guys)… Read More

  • 0

Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Counselor’ Disappoints

When the Coen Brothers took home a bundle of awards for their 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, including the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, the 1992 National Book Award winner found himself shot into a whole new realm of fame. By then, McCarthy was already on a professional hot streak: in April of 2007 Oprah had picked his latest novel, The Road, for her Book Club. Literature lovers had already known of McCarthy’s greatness, but now everybody knew, and everybody wanted to read him. You could hardly go anywhere without seeing somebody clutching a copy of the book the Coens had adapted, or the post-apocalyptic novel that Oprah loved so much (and would eventually be turned into a well-received 2009 film). … Read More

  • 0

The 50 Scariest Books of All Time

The air is getting crisper, the nights are getting longer, and All Hallow’s Eve draws near. You know what that means: it’s time to curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the shivers — or at least make you check the locks twice. Here, for your horrifying pleasure, are 50 of the scariest books ever written in the English language, whether horror, nonfiction, or speculative futures you never want to… Read More

  • 0