Joan Didion

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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10 Famous Authors on the Importance of Keeping a Journal

Many famous writers have kept journals or diaries — for many, it is a creative necessity, for others, a place for exploration, and for some an art form in and of itself. This week, Brain Pickings treated us to a few passages on the art of keeping a diary from Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, and we were inspired to see what other authors had to say on the topic (we were also inspired to resume our old diaries, but never mind). After the jump, read ten famous writers on the importance of keeping a journal (or, in some cases, the lack thereof), and let us know whether you keep your own notebook, journal or diary in the comments. … Read More

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35 New York Authors’ Favorite New York Authors

We don’t know about you, but we’re always in the market for a new literary discovery. And when you’re on the hunt for a new book or a new writer to delve into, who better to ask than the folks who make their livings reading and writing themselves? With that in mind, we asked a few of the most important living New York authors to name-drop some of their favorite living New York authors — and what do you know? We have a few in common. After the jump, find out who 35 amazing NYC-based authors keep on their nightstands, and let us know your own favorite NYC writers in the comments. … Read More

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10 Things Joan Didion Loves

Happy birthday, Joan Didion! Today marks the 78th birthday of the legendary essayist (and very important writer), and to celebrate, we thought we’d aid everyone in their quest to become a little bit more like her by rounding up a few things she love — or at least the things we know she loves from essays and interviews. And you may be surprised — Didion loves specific books and characters, sure, but also water systems and Alcatraz Island — sensible choices for a woman who is always surprising us. After the jump, a few of Joan Didion’s favorite things. We wish her all these and more on her birthday. … Read More

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