Kelly Link

Staff Picks: Kelly Link, Chapbooks and ‘The Americans’ as Self-Help

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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50 Great Genre-Bending Books Everyone Should Read

Sometimes, it seems as though the arguments about genre — be it poetry vs. fiction, fiction vs. nonfiction, literary fiction vs. SF vs. fantasy vs. mystery vs. vs. vs. — will never end. So why not just take yourself off the board entirely? After all, marketing professionals aside, does anyone really care what genre they’re reading if the book is good? After the jump, 50 genre-bending novels guaranteed to enthrall you, whether you’re a literary fiction snob or a die-hard fantasy nerd. Enjoy without judgements! … Read More

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10 Must-Read Books For February

Winter may be closing in, the nights may be frosty and cold, but we have book after book after book to keep you warm. It’s like the publishing industry just woke up from its winter hibernation, ready to regale us with stories. From a brilliant book about motherhood to the memoir of the coolest woman alive, there’s definitely a February book that will beguile and tempt you in equal measures. … Read More

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Girl Canon: 50 Essential Books About the Female Experience

Everyone knows that, statistically at least, girls read more than boys. But the classic, canonical growing-up books, at least in American culture, tend to represent the male experience — I’m thinking On the Road, The Catcher in the Rye, everything ever written by Bret Easton Ellis or Michael Chabon — and while these are great books, suitable for boys or girls, the question remains: where are the books for girls to grow up on? Well, they’re definitely out there, if perhaps assigned less often in schools to readers of both genders. And so I propose a Girl Canon, populated by books not necessarily for girls but which investigate, address, or represent the female experience in some essential… Read More

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50 Books to Cure Heartbreak

Heartbroken? Left alone? Depressed? And right before the holidays? Never fear, because this is no end-of-year list — it’s a list to cure that broken heart of yours. Now, there are as many ways to mend a broken heart as there are to break one, but hopefully this list will contain something for everyone, whether you prefer to muffle pain with laughter, or might take some hope in a happy ending, or just need to wallow. After all, as James Baldwin said, “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” So here you go, gang: 50 cures for love, all $25 or less. … Read More

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25 Genre Novels That Should be Classics

There’s been a lot of talk about genre in the air recently (well, really, when isn’t there?) — what it means, whether it’s changed, whether it’s even useful or important anymore. But no matter what is said, there’s still that lingering stigma that keeps worthy works of genre (for clarity, we’re mostly talking fantasy and science fiction, with a little historical fiction, mystery and crime thrown in for good measure) from ascending to full classic status: being taught in high schools, appearing on all-time best-book lists, etc. Some genre novels have already crossed the border into pure classic territory — Brave New World, Slaughterhouse-Five and 1984 are all genre and established classics by any measuring stick, The Lord of the Rings is so ubiquitous and grand that it’s forced itself into the canon, and let’s not forget that Wuthering Heights is a ghost story, and so, of course, is Beloved. To add to that list, here are 25 genre novels that should be considered classics. Add even more, if that’s your desire, in the comments. … Read More

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50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time

It’s that time of year again, when the pumpkins come out, the fake cobwebs are hung and we feel that dormant urge to be chilled, thrilled and spooked to our bones. Get out your flashlights, because a scary story awaits — actually, make that fifty of them. Now, there’s more to scary stories than goblins, ghouls, blood and your general horror — here there be monsters of many kinds, existential and literal, extraordinary and everyday. And remember: like beauty, fear is in the bloody eye of the beholder. So whether you yearn for classic horror or literary fiction guaranteed to make your skin crawl, read on. If you dare! … Read More

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50 Excellent Fabulist Books Everyone Should Read

Fabulism, it seems, is having a moment — although whether it’s truly a trend is up for debate. Some might say it’s been right there, purring along, all this time, while others might blink and wonder what you’re talking about. Such is always the case with magic. But whether you’re a newbie or an old hat, there are always new corners of the fantastic to discover. So, here you’ll find 50 excellent novels and short story collections by fabulists, fantasists, and fairy-tale-tellers, literary books that incorporate the irreal, the surreal, and the… Read More

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Book of the Week: ‘Magic for Beginners’ by Kelly Link

Since there’s a holiday weekend coming up, this feels like a particularly appropriate time to talk about and celebrate Kelly Link — and more specifically Magic for Beginners, one of the best short story collections to come out in the last decade. Originally published by the smaller press Mariner Books in 2005, the book has just been reissued by Random House in anticipation of Link’s upcoming collection, due out in 2015. Though Magic for Beginners came out a little bit before the recent vogue for short stories, it — like the author herself — already has its devotees. In fact, Link has been praised up and down by big-name authors, counting everybody from Neil Gaiman to Karen Russell, Peter Straub, and Lev Grossman among her fans. And although she earns the sort of high praise that follows writers who’ve earned the insufferable “writer’s writer” tag, she’s also found that rare sweet spot of being both a true literary talent and a storyteller whose imagination seems to know no limits. … Read More

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35 Perfect Examples of the Art of the Short Story

People can argue all day about the greatest novels, but there is never enough discussion about short story collections. In honor of the first exceptional example of 2014 — Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus) and the fact that The New Republic is publishing short fiction again, we were inspired to come up with this list of essential collections by masters of the form and up-and-comers alike. Some entries in this canon are anthologies of an author’s complete works, while others are individual books that are perfect on their own; either way, these 35 volumes are required… Read More

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