The debate as to whether the Internet is good or bad for literature doesn’t seem any closer to resolution now than when it began, years ago, but the fact remains that some people in the literary world are excellent at using social media and other platforms to communicate with readers and get people interested in what they’re writing. Some are young authors, others are firmly established. Some are publishing industry veterans or new media superstars, others command small armies via their Tumblrs. Whatever it is they do on the Internet, these 35 people do it better than anybody else in the book… Read More
Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This week, debut novelists share their stories, Tao Lin goes to see Karl Ove Knausgaard talk with Zadie Smith, and lots of dogs. … Read More
As everyone knows, 2013 was the year of the selfie, something we’ve all groaned over, bemoaning the state of kids today. But selfies aren’t just for moody teenagers — they’re also employed by moody writers! Not to mention, it seems, just about everybody else. After the jump, secretly revel in a little collection of famous authors’ selfies, both vintage and recent, serious and totally goofy. And if any of your favorites are missing here, add ‘em on in the comments. Can’t have too many selfies. … Read More
Five years ago this month saw the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 in English. The book topped almost every year-end list and signaled a shift in literary tastes, creating larger audiences for works in translation, historical storylines, and narrative complexity. Between the uncertain future of the publishing industry, the rise of indie presses, new literary magazines, and the Internet and ereaders, the years that followed were bittersweet for the book industry but also a unique and fruitful time for readers. The following 50 books provide several clues as to why that is, and also give a glimpse into the future of… Read More
Say what you want about Tao Lin and his books, but not many authors can write novels that make critics go ahead and question their entire being. And no matter what you end up saying, it’s hard to not reach the conclusion that there are actually two Lins you have to deal with: Tao Lin the writer and Tao Lin the Internet personality. While the latter might be the better known of the two Taos, Lin the writer has made great strides to outpace Lin the human meme with his latest novel, Taipei, culminating with Clancy Martin’s glowing New York Times review of the book that calls it “a gigantic leap forward” and describes Lin as “a serious, first-rate novelist.” The only thing left for him to do is convince all the naysayers. … Read More
The first time I became aware of Marie Calloway was in the late Fall of 2011, when I was serving as Editor-in-Chief of The New York Observer and the paper’s media reporter, Kat Stoeffel, pitched a profile of a young pseudonymous writer who had made a name for herself on sites like Thought Catalog, Tao Lin’s Muumuu House, and via her own blog, wherein she posted stories about sex she’d had with various people she met online.
To be honest, my first thought was, meh. Since the invention of blogging there had been a parade of attractive early 20-something women chronicling their sex lives online, and after a while, the obligatory posts about one’s first threesome begin to blur together. The novelty of the scenario for the writer is not nearly so novel for the reader — and neither were the attendant hyperbolic assertions that being young and female and writing unapologetically about casual sex was a universally positive manifestation of a vibrant third wave feminism, which I thought gave the genre too much credit. Writing about casual sex in graphic terms while being young, female, and attractive was not inherently provocative anymore, nor was it particularly interesting unless it was accompanied by other factors that lent originality to the practice. … Read More
What’s better than a signed copy of your favorite book? Why, an inscribed copy of your favorite book, of course, preferably straight from the hand of your favorite author. While some authors tend to sign books with a simple “my best” or “thanks for reading,” others push the envelope a little more, and — especially with an author notorious for his or her humor — a signature seeker may be blessed with a quip, a bizarre turn of phrase, or even (the holy grail) a little doodle. After the jump, Flavorwire has tracked down a selection of famous authors’ amusing missives, drawings, and insults (produced upon request) as written in the first pages of their books. Check them out after the jump, and feel free to add your own in the comments.
This week, we caught a glimpse of author Tao Lin’s Murray Hill apartment in this cheeky review over at Vice. Though somewhat alarmed at the squalor of Lin’s digs (seriously, can you blame us?), we found ourselves inspired to hunt down a few more shots of notable authors hanging out at home. After the jump, stop by and visit with everyone from Zora Neale Hurston to Paul Auster. Whose apartment would you most like to move into? Let us know in the comments. … Read More
[Editor’s note: It’s Labor Day, so your devoted Flavorwire team is taking a break. To keep you entertained, we’re leaving you with our most popular features of the summer months. This post originally ran June 15th.] We’ve always wondered how many people read specific books to seem cool — and how many people deftly sidestep talking about the books that perhaps cast them in a less-than-flattering light. Recently, we were tickled by an edition of Ask the Paris Review, wherein the always-delightful Sadie Stein answered the question “What’s a book I should read to make girls think I’m smart in a hot way?” by polling her friends and colleagues. The answers, of course, varied widely, proving that it sort of depends on the girl.
Though it’s good to know what to do to seem appealing to the opposite sex, it’s also good to know what not to do — that is, to know which books might send a potential mate running for the hills should they be spotted on your nightstand or peeking out from your back pocket. In the interest of seeing the full picture, we asked both men and women of various sexual orientations to share the books that they think render their devotees totally undateable. So click through to see which titles you should avoid like the plague — or at least hide in a desk drawer somewhere when you’re entertaining — and don’t forget to pitch in with the books that would make you cut and run in the comments. … Read More
This week, Laurent Binet’s HHhH, which we can safely say is blessed with one of the strangest titles we’ve ever encountered, hit shelves. Inspired by the sheer weirdness of the title (we’ll explain what it means later), we’ve compiled a list of some of the most cryptic book titles in literature, from the confusingly short to the numerically based to the grammatically incomprehensible. We’ve left out children’s books, of course — as we’re sure you’re aware, the nonsense words and silly symbols gracing their covers just are too many to count. Click through to check out our list, and if we’ve missed your own favorite cryptic title, let us know in the comments. … Read More