Margaret Atwood

A Selection of Writers Inspired By Dreams

Dreams — and nightmares — have offered an intimate wellspring of inspiration for generations of authors. From the ancient Greeks to contemporary surrealists, our subconscious meanderings have been regarded as perennially profound by the literati. Whether to celebrate their absurdity, candid insight, or liberation of repressed sentiments, these oblique visions have become inextricably woven into the collective dreaming of our cultural mythology. It’s clear that our slumbers liberate far more than just monsters from the id. Margaret Atwood revealed the inner workings of her own “psychic carburetor” in a New York Review article she penned earlier this week. We’ve shared her thoughts on dreams as inspiration past the break, along with a selection of other remarkable works that have been pollinated by their creators’ nighttime reverie. … Read More

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10 Classic Books That Have Somehow Been Turned Into Ballets

Next season, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will be presenting an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s beloved novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. While there’s no denying the power of the book, it does seem somewhat strange fodder for a ballet — given that it’s a dystopic indictment of fundamentalism and gender norms and all. However, as it turns out, a number of surprising novels have been adapted for the stage as ballets or operas — check out a selection of these after the jump, and feel free to add to the list in the comments. … Read More

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Your Favorite Authors’ Favorite Musicians

Here at Flavorwire of late, we’ve been looking at what some of our favorite creative types have appreciated in the work of their peers — our favorite actors’ favorite actors, etc. We do like a bit of genre cross-pollination, though, so we thought we’d extend the remit of the idea across genre lines, starting with some of our favorite authors discussing the work of the musicians who inspire, excite, or just generally impress… Read More

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21 Books Written by and About Women That Every Man Should Read

This week, we read a great interview with Meg Wolitzer (whose just-released novel The Interestings is currently being enjoyed by more than one member of this office). “Men,” she says, “with very few exceptions, won’t read books about women.” Though not exactly a new idea, this pronouncement gains a little force by coming hot on the heels of GQ‘s “The New Canon: The 21 Books from the 21st Century Every Man Should Read,” which contains (you guessed it, drumroll please, etc.) three books written by women. Though we won’t disparage any of the books that made the list, we will offer our own — as an attempt to work towards ameliorating the problem laid out by Wolitzer and neatly exemplified by GQ. After all, though there are three books by women on their list, only the Munro could really be said to be primarily about them. After the jump, 21 books by and about women that we think every man should read. … Read More

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10 Phenomenally Tricky Books Everyone Should Read

This morning, we read Laura Miller’s piece on “sneaky author tricks” over at Salon, in which she muses on the dangers of metafictional, tricks-y writing — one of her points being that if an author’s going to do it, he’d better do it well. Like Miller, we are rather fond of authorial tricks, and considering that today is April Fools’ day, we thought we’d collect a few of the best here. Click through to see a few of our favorite tricky books. … Read More

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Fascinating Photos of Famous Authors as Teenagers

Over the weekend, Vol.1 Brooklyn pointed us towards a delightful collection of never-before-seen photographs of Ernest Hemingway as a teenager, in all his handsomely smug glory. Inspired, we took it upon ourselves to dig up a handful of snapshots of other legendary authors in those awkward (or not so awkward, as the case may be) teenage years, before they penned the words that made them… Read More

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10 Famous Novelists Who Have Dabbled in Comics

This week, we were delighted to come across You’ll Have to Save That For Another Time, a comic written by Dave Eggers and drawn by Noah Van Sciver, over at Trip City. Unaware as we were that Eggers had any talent for the comic strip, we were inspired to go hunting for other noted novelists who’ve made forays into the graphic form, whether official (that is, published) or personal. Keep in mind that we’re focusing on novelists who went to the colorful side as opposed to the other way around, so you won’t find Neil Gaiman (mastermind as he is), Warren Ellis, or their wonderful ilk here. Check out some novelists who can also write comics after the jump, and if we missed your favorite cross-over, be sure to add it to our list in the comments. … Read More

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The Fascinating Self-Portraits of 20 Famous Authors

They say writing is a form of self-expression — but it’s not the only one. And if we had to guess, we’d bet that many of our favorite authors have a little bit more going on in their heads than the average person, so it makes sense to us that their creativity might spill out into other mediums. To that end, we’ve curated a small selection of wonderful visual self-portraits by famous authors — from scribbles to full-on oil paintings, from cheeky one-offs to serious painterly studies. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments. … Read More

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The 10 Greatest Dystopian Love Stories in Literature

This week saw the release of the brilliant Ariel Djanikian‘s debut novel, The Office of Mercy. Djanikian’s book drops you into a deliciously paranoid world that we’re confident will go down in history with the best of them, so we asked her to put together a list of her favorite dystopian love stories (just be sure to mentally add The Office of Mercy to her list). Here’s what she told us: “Dystopian tales seem to go hand-in-hand with scintillating, high-octane love stories: perhaps because dire circumstances have a knack of drawing people together, perhaps because claustrophobic repression makes the highs and lows of love affairs that much more potent. These ten books boast plenty of heart-stopping love triangles, as well as romantic pairings with some changes: robots, clones, and cyborgs get in on the action. They are love affairs that question how much feeling we have to offer, and how much trust we can risk in the face of political pressures. Love is never the cure-all for these characters, but it can be an intervention, as Jeanette Winterson says, against powers of destruction.” … 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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