Joan Didion

Waving Goodbye to the “Goodbye to All That” Essay

Everyone I know has a fantasy escape plan. Portland, Oregon is the default, the place New Yorkers think will give them all the benefits of a progressive, culturally vibrant city, with the added advantages of friendliness and affordability. I tend to dream of returning to Baltimore, an even cheaper city with a more daring and distinctive arts scene, where I went to college and which I have missed ever since. My best friend from high school tells me that she and her new husband won’t move out of the city for a few years, but they’re already looking at bucolic properties upstate. Another couple of close friends are keeping a temporary move to Austin at the back of their minds. This Friday night I’ll be at the going-away party for a talented young musician who’s moving to Nashville. … Read More

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The Most Stylish People in Literature

Another New York Fashion Week is in the books after today. There were some highs, and there were some definite lows. Lots of pictures of celebrities looking bored while models walked past them were taken, and people tweeted things like this: … Read More

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Clever and Creepy Illustrations of Modern Authors as Monsters

If writer and sometimes cartoonist Lincoln Michel‘s macabre illustrations of modern lit masters has taught us anything, it’s that themes of alienation, societal fragmentation, and anxiety can really take a toll on an author. In this case, it can turn them into monsters. We suspect “Bone Didion,” “Haruki Murderkami,” and company would appreciate Michel’s humorous and creepy twist. The series was created for Vol. 1 Brooklyn, but Michel dragged the literary skeletons out of the closet once more on Twitter. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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Scenes From the Forthcoming East Coast-West Coast Literary War

What do the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand have in common with a New Republic piece written by Marc Tracy? Hopefully nothing, but the title, “The L.A. Review of Books Declares War on the N.Y. Review of Books,” suggests that the piece could be the earliest document of a literary war between the coasts that will rival the Tupac and Biggie feud of the 1990s.

Since we at Flavorwire are peaceful East Coast citizens who love taking trips out to California without fearing any type of bodily harm, we present this timeline as a cautionary tale of what might happen if what Tracy perceives as aggression on the part of the scrappy upstart Los Angeles Review of Books against the venerable New York Review of Books escalates.  … Read More

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Day of Magical Tweeting: Fake Joan Didion Twitter Account Fools ‘Wall Street Journal’

We’ve known that Joan Didon wants nothing to do with with Twitter for a few years now, but we got worried that the folks at The Wall Street Journal didn’t get that memo when we saw the article posted below: … Read More

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Required Reading List: Don Draper

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten,” Ralph Waldo Emerson famously quipped, “even so, they have made me.” In this new bi-weekly series, Flavorwire plays professor to some of our favorite pop culture characters, assigning reading lists tailored to their temperaments or — in some cases — designed to make them into slightly better people. After all, even fictional characters can have their lives changed by books. Or so we imagine. This week, we recommend a reading list for Don Draper. … Read More

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10 Books Guaranteed to Make You Cry

This week, we read about a study, recently published in PLOS ONE, in which researchers found that “the emotional content of published English has been steadily decreasing over the past century, with the exception of words associated with fear, an emotion which has resurged over the past decades.” Well, we don’t doubt it. But that’s not to say that literature has lost any of its power to elicit emotions. To prove it, we’ve selected ten books that make us cry every time — and not always because they’re sad, but because they elicit some kind of strong internal reaction that, well, ends in tears. Read through our picks after the jump, and since everyone has different triggers, let us know which books are guaranteed to make you cry in the comments. … Read More

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The 25 Greatest Essay Collections of All Time

This week marks the release of Aleksandar Hemon’s excellent book of personal essays, The Book of My Lives, which we loved, and which we’re convinced deserves a place in the literary canon. To that end, we were inspired to put together our list of the greatest essay collections of all time, from the classic to the contemporary, from the personal to the critical. In making our choices, we’ve steered away from posthumous omnibuses and multi-author compilations, and given what might be undue weight to our favorite writers (as one does). Click through to see our nominations for the 25 greatest essay collections of all… Read More

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17 Essays by Female Writers That Everyone Should Read

The ratio of male to female writers published in literary journals, magazines, and book reviews remains largely disproportionate in favor of male writers. But the lit mag Creative Nonfiction‘s current issue, “Female Form,” includes only essays by female writers. To hammer home the point that there are indeed plenty of women writing serious nonfiction, the magazine curated this list of 17 essays by female writers that every woman (and man) should… Read More

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