Today, we came across Darren Shan’s list of “essential reads for teens about those who exist outside the boundaries of the established norms” over at the Guardian, and while we can’t take issue with any of his choices, we did notice that each of his choices was written by, and is largely concerned with the exploits of — you guessed it! — a straight white man. Not the most outsider of demographics, if you don’t mind us saying so. As a response, we’ve put together an alternate essential reading list of outsider lit for teenage girls — or teenage boys willing to read outside the mold. Read through our picks after the jump, and add on any of your favorites that we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More
This week, NPR treated us to a list of five of their favorite heroines from the year in literature, women who “want to know things, who want to devour the world,” who “aren’t primarily defined by their desire to love or be loved — or even to be especially lovable — these are sublimely stubborn women, frequently at odds with themselves and always at odds with their times,” who are on quests. We love their list (Sontag, yes) but since they missed quite a few of our favorite literary heroines of 2012, we couldn’t help taking the opportunity to add to it. After the jump, the wiliest, wildest, most kick-ass literary ladies we fell in love with this year — check them out, and since we can’t possible cover every one, be sure to add your own favorites to our list in the comments. … Read More
We’ve all been exposed to the classic anthologies — your Nortons, your Oxfords, your Best American series — but sometimes we need to step out of the box a little bit and reach for the anthologies that weren’t handed out to everyone we know in Freshman Lit, whether because they’re too specific or just too out there. Here, we’ve put together a list of a few alternative anthologies that we think should be on everyone’s to-read list. They might not be quite what you’re used to, but hey, it’s always good to learn something new. And of course, these are simply the anthologies that have spoken to us — there are many more alternative collections, some more or less essential depending on your interests, so we hope that you’ll add your own favorites to our list in the comments. … Read More
Tonight we went to a swanky spelling bee put on by IRA SILVERBERG to benefit the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses at the Diane Von Furstenberg Studio in the Meatpacking District.
It was a lot like the spelling bees we remember from growing but instead of our principal, BOB MORRIS from THE NEW YORK TIMES Style section was the MC with the Oxford English Dictionary‘s JESSE SHEIDLOWER serving as the evening’s judge, and instead of the geekiest kids in our class, some of the biggest names in publishing were vying for top honors.
So actually it was nothing like the spelling bees we remember from growing up.
Follow our friend Ron Hogan’s play-by-play of the competition here; after the jump our photos of JONATHAN ADLER, JONATHAN BURNHAM, DAVID CARR, MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM, BRAD GOOCH, HEIDI JULAVITS, WAYNE KOESTENBAUM, MICHAEL MUSTO, SARA NELSON, and ROBERT SIETSEMA, along with our educated guesses on what they were like in high school.
BTW Gawker, ALEX KUCZYNSKI was a no-show this year and the word “sacrilegious” still cropped up (maybe Morris is behind the conspiracy). “Botox” — another Kuczynski favorite — was also on the fashion-themed list.
We’re fairly certain she would have gotten that one. … Read More