Kelly Link

10 (More) Wonderful Short Stories to Read for Free Online

Around this time last year, we gave you a list of a few of our all-time favorite short stories that were available to read online for free. By now, we expect that you’ve read them all, so we thought it was high time to collect a few more. After the jump, ten more short stories that you can read for free — on your phone on the train, while pretending to work, printed out with a cup of tea on the couch — all of them guaranteed to be great (and a few that were suggested by readers on our first go-around). But of course, the Internet abounds with these, so if you’ve a generous spirit, you could even add to our list in the comments. Happy reading. … Read More

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Lev Grossman on ‘The Magicians’ Trilogy, VIDA, and 5 Books Everyone Needs to Read

Last night, Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians and The Magician King, and the book critic for Time, participated in the first-ever AMA (that’s Ask Me Anything, for the uninitiated) over in Reddit’s books subreddit. Since we’re fans of his, and always have our ears open for authors we like saying interesting stuff, we moseyed on over to see what we could learn. We suggest checking out the whole thing, but if you’re pressed for time, we’ve collected some of the most interesting bits after the jump. … Read More

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A Weird Girl Reading List: 10 of the Best Outsider Books for Teenagers

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

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10 Works of Literary Fantasy to Jump Start Your Imagination

Tomorrow marks the release of an exciting new addition to the modern fabulist genre — Texas-based author Manuel Gonzales’s debut collection, The Miniature Wife. We’re always excited about anything cross-genre, in part because it feels essential, somehow more real than sticking to a single effect, and we’re particular fans of the realist/fantasist dichotomy in fiction. After all, that’s sort of the way we experience the world — half magic, half trying to find socks that match. After the jump, we’ve collected 10 works of modern literary fantasy that will have you seeing those socks in a whole new light — or maybe just seeing the ghost rabbit next to them. … Read More

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20 Books Every Woman Should Read in Her 20s

Recently, we stumbled upon this list of “fun” books that every woman should read in her 20s — needless to say, if you’re even a casual visitor to this space, the books (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bitches on a Budget) aren’t exactly the ones we’d choose. So, perhaps rather predictably, we decided to put together our own list instead. Now, don’t forget, these are books for women in their 20s — we assume you’ve already read as much Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott as you care to, we expect that you’ve already tackled To Kill a Mockingbird and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Jane Eyre. And though women should read all books about all kinds of things and by all kinds of authors, this list sort of necessarily skews towards  both female writers and characters, given the topic of the day. Click through to check out our reading list — and since every woman should read more than 20 books in her 20s (hundreds, ladies!), add your own favorites in the comments. … Read More

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Writers Praising Writers: 15 of the Best Compliments from One Author to Another

We all know authors can insult one another with aplomb, but do those bitter wordsmiths ever have anything nice to say? Well, yes, of course. If we had to guess, we’d say that most authors’ biggest fans are other authors, who might understand a given piece of literature better than any mere mortal — or they might just be more likely to write about it. In the excellent collection Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, which hit shelves last week, 20 famous writers choose and introduce the short stories from the periodical that moved and thrilled them. In honor of the book’s publication, we’ve put together a few of our favorite author-on-author compliments. Click through to spread the love, and if we’ve missed your favorite compliment, add to our list in the comments. … Read More

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10 of the Creepiest Ghosts in Literature

We know it’s not October yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in a few extra scary stories as the nights get longer and the leaves start to change. This week saw the release of The Big Book of Ghost Stories, an anthology of spooky tales starring ghouls of all descriptions, edited by Otto Penzler. Though we haven’t worked our way through it yet, we were inspired to think about the fictional ghosts who have creeped us out the most thoroughly over the years — from those inhabiting classic horror stories to those sneaking into more literary fiction. Click through to read about our picks for the creepiest ghosts in literature — and since everyone has their own specific demons to face, let us know which you’d have chosen in the comments. … Read More

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10 Underrated Books Everyone Should Read

A few weeks ago, Publishers Weekly took to Twitter to ask readers which books they wished more people had read. Duly prompted, since then we’ve been thinking about the books we think are woefully under-read, under-appreciated or underrated, from the “lesser” works of famous writers to mostly forgotten or unacknowledged geniuses.… Read More

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10 of the Greatest Short Stories About Love

Tomorrow, Junot Díaz’s newest story collection, This is How You Lose Her, hits shelves, and we predict that everyone you know will be reading it by the weekend. Or at least they should be — this messy, vulgar set of tales about misadventures of the heart is filled with Díaz’s signature searing voice, loveable/despicable characters and so-true-it-hurts goodness. To celebrate Díaz’s new collection, we’ve put together a collection of a few more of our all-time favorite love stories, from the recent to the classic, and dealing with all kinds of that most complex emotion. Of course, this is not by all means a definitive list — we rejoice at how un-definitive it is, in fact — so please add your own favorite short stories on love in the comments. … Read More

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The Future of American Fiction: An Interview with Emma Straub

If you haven’t noticed, we spend a lot of time thinking about literature here in the Flavorpill offices, digging through its past, weighing its current state, and imagining its future. Take a look at our bookshelves and you’ll find us reading everything from Nobel Prize winners to age-old classics to paperbacks printed at the bookstore down the street. Call it Chick-Lit, Hysterical Realism, Ethnic-Lit, or Translit — if it’s good fiction, we’ll be talking about it. So this summer, we launched The Future of American Fiction: a weekly interview series expanding on that endless conversation about books we love, and yes, the direction of American fiction, from the people who’d know. Each Tuesday we’ve brought you a short interview with one of the writers we think is instrumental in defining that direction.

For our very last installation of our Future of American Fiction Series, we talked to Emma Straub, who knocked our socks off with last year’s short story collection Other People We Married, and has only separated us from those aforementioned socks further in her delightful new novel Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, an affecting, decades-spanning epic of a small-town girl’s escape to Hollywood, which hits bookstores September 4th. A true multi-talented modern author, she also happens to be a bookseller, a journalist, a designer, a charming Twitter presence and the sometime merch girl for the Magnetic Fields. So, you know, top that. Read on as we talk to Emma about e-readers, niceness, and her drawerfuls of unpublished novels. … Read More

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