The literary world is forever in awe of the young writers, the wunderkinds, the 20 under 40, the 5 under 35, the 30 under 30. But many authors published their first major work later in life.… Read More
Marquis de Sade
Yesterday, we read a fascinating article on The New Yorker’s Page Turner about impact that former president of France Nicholas Sarkozy’s bizarre hatred of Madame de Lafayette’s 1678 novel The Princess of Clèves, a staple of French cultural heritage and the favorite book of many. Sarkozy publicly bashed and mocked the book, prompting obstinate outrage from his countrymen, and the article goes so far as to suggest that the president’s position on the work was part of the reason he was ousted earlier this year.
But why hate on this book, Sarkozy? Perhaps he was just being crotchety. Which brings us to the topic of the day: books that old white men love to hate. Of course we know there are no books that only men hate (or like, for that matter), and one dissident does not a trend make, but sometimes it’s fun to make assumptions, so please take the following in the spirit that it’s meant. Read on for a few books that have set off the alarms for the white male establishment, and let us know which scary feminist novels we missed in the comments. … Read More
Here at Flavorpill, we love a good story. And while we generally get our fix from novels and short stories, sometimes the lives of the authors are just as fascinating as the lives of the characters they create (some of them even have biopics — or more than one — to prove it). After all, artists are prone to eccentricities, creative problem solving and, let’s face it, tragedy, all qualities that make great protagonists as well as interesting people. Click through to check out our list of authors whose true life stories we think would make fantastic novels (we’ve focused on those who haven’t written autobiographies or exact novelizations of their own lives), and then be sure to add to our list in the comments! … Read More
Here at Flavorpill, we can be bit old-fashioned. We usually prefer our books made of bound paper, but we admit the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has us all running for our Kindles — or buying them. There are certain books you don’t want to carry into work, or be seen reading on the subway, but with the anonymity of an e-reader, you can nurture your secret Christian Grey obsession (or whichever left-of-center obsession you choose) with complete freedom. With all the current fuss over E.L. James, we’ve delved a little deeper into risqué fiction, the kind of stuff you’ll stay up all night reading, whether by candle or Kindle light. Check out our after-dark reading list after the jump. … Read More
Writer Anaïs Nin didn’t just keep a diary, she made journaling an art form. She began putting pen to page during her adolescence and continued documenting her most intimate, sexually frank thoughts — often involving famous friends and bedfellows like Henry Miller — until her death in 1977.
The erotica maven’s birthday is today, and we’re taking a look at several other well-known, scandalous diarists who have shared their candid (and often naughty) thoughts and experiences for all to peruse. In the age of celebrity sex tapes, some of these admissions may seem timid now, but they certainly made waves during their time. Who would you add to the list? Click on to read our picks, and weigh in with yours below. … Read More
[Editor's note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we're revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published May 18, 2011.] Jezebel-writer Anna North’s debut novel, America Pacifica, is out today. The story centers around an impoverished teenage girl who is struggling to survive on an increasingly toxic island in the Pacific Ocean after a future Ice Age sets in and freezes the mainland. Though the writing can be a little clunky — especially with respect to class issues — North provides good lens into the many ways an aggrieved soul can turn against the world, and how difficult it is to get back our dignity once we’ve lost it. With this in mind, we decided to run a post on books that expose the darker side of humanity — a roundup of the most disturbing novels and short stories through time, if you will. … Read More
As Virginia Woolf writes in Orlando: “Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than merely to keep us warm.” In this way, Coco Chanel was correct when she purportedly said that “fashion is not something that exists in dresses only,” as it both shapes and responds to the world around us. The fashion collections below are inspired by works of literature and the trends therein contained, whether its the sober clothes of independently-minded Jane Eyre or the tightly-laced bodices taken from de Sade’s velvet boudoirs. Or we could reverse the process as Sonia Rykiel did and pen the novel in response to the clothing. Anything goes in fashion, right? … Read More