J M Coetzee

50 Novels Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

It’s a new year, and resolutions are flying left and right. Here’s one that’s always on everyone’s mind, beginning of the year or no: how to be a better person. Well, since science keeps proving that reading literary fiction accomplishes that very fact, why not attack a novel in order to spruce up your heart and mind? Click through for 50 novels to make you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and a whole lot more open to the experience of… Read More

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The 50 Greatest Campus Novels Ever Written

No matter how old you are, the back-to-school season holds a certain kind of allure – be it nostalgia for scholarly tradition, the crisping of the days, a Pavlovian need to buy books, or just the satisfaction that you don’t have to be in class ever again. If you’re looking to indulge yourself without the schoolwork, you may take pleasure in another hallowed tradition: the campus novel. That is, books concerning the lives of students, professors, and miscellaneous academics, generally in or around a college. Here are 50 of the… Read More

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The Childhood Art of Famous Authors

Famous authors: they once were little kids who drew pictures for their parents, just like us. Recently, a few childhood drawings of E.E. Cummings were discovered and put on display by the Massachusetts Historical Society — and while it’s not clear whether they tell us anything about the future poet’s work, they’re certainly a fun window into the life of the artist as a young boy. After the jump, see a few more early artworks by some of your favorite authors — and be sure to add any others you find to the list in the comments. … Read More

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The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013

The thing about reading is this: it takes a long time. There are innumerable books in the world, and many more good ones than can be read by any mortal in a lifetime. It’s hard to choose — especially if you’re a slow reader. So, to go along with the list of the best albums from 1963-2013, here you will find a single must-read book from each of the last 50… Read More

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The Best Venice Biennale 2013 Artwork You Haven’t Heard About

Ten days into the Venice Biennale, the vast majority of reporting has been dedicated to three things: the inaugural national pavilion for Vatican City, the palpable aftershocks of political unrest in the Maldives, and the avalanche of praise for Massimiliano Gioni, who curated the centerpiece of the fair (seriously, I cannot find an unfavorable word about that guy). There is a lot of compression and consolidation at work, which makes sense, but it leaves out a lot. After the jump, discover a few pieces of work that have slipped away underrated so far at Venice. … Read More

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Flavorpill's 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2013

If killer short story collections, triumphant returns, and more delicious-sounding novels than you can shake a stick at sounds like a good thing to you, then 2013 is shaping up to be a banner year for new… Read More

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10 Evocative Writers of Place

Today is famed Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez’s 84th birthday. Known for his importance in developing the genre of magical realism as well as his lush descriptions of an often only slightly shifted Colombia, Márquez has created some of the most beautiful worlds of any writer living today. In the introduction to the Everyman’s Library edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude, author Carlos Fuentes writes, “[Márquez] creates a place. A mythical locale: Macondo. García Márquez, story-teller, knows that presence dissolves without a place (a base of resistance) that can be all places: a place that will hold everyone, that will hold all of us: the seat of time, she enshrinement of all times, the meeting ground of memory and desire, a common present where everything can begin again: a temple, a book.”

Indeed, place can be one of the most important ingredients in a novel or story, and since we associate Márquez so deeply with the Colombia he has created for us, we decided to take a look at more authors who are tied to a specific place, and whose work relies on a strong evocation of that land, whether foreign or domestic. Click through to take a look at our ten favorite writers of place, and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More

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10 Novels That Will Disturb Even the Coldest of Hearts

[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 May 18, 2011.] Jezebel-writer Anna North’s debut novel, America Pacifica, is out today. The story centers around an impoverished teenage girl who is struggling to survive on an increasingly toxic island in the Pacific Ocean after a future Ice Age sets in and freezes the mainland. Though the writing can be a little clunky — especially with respect to class issues — North provides good lens into the many ways an aggrieved soul can turn against the world, and how difficult it is to get back our dignity once we’ve lost it. With this in mind, we decided to run a post on books that expose the darker side of humanity — a roundup of the most disturbing novels and short stories through time, if you will. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds In Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we listened to “Wild Man,” a song off of Kate Bush’s first studio album in six years. We learned the back stories behind some of the worst album covers in music history. We laughed out loud while reading the Guardian’s roundup of Woody Allen’s best jokes. We… Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Summertime

The third in his series of fictionalized memoirs, J.M. Coetzee’s Summertime questions the author’s own relevance as a human being.

In the process of understanding why readers care about who he is, Coetzee tries to show himself as an awkward, un-sexualized man who is no more worthy of public curiosity than anyone else. Featuring a fictional interviewer, out-of-frame notes, and a series of less-than-flattering third-party accounts, Summertime is a deeply sardonic but ultimately entrancing self-portrait of the Nobel laureate. … Read More

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