William Faulkner

Why We Need Diverse Writers’ Landmarks

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In 1974, Alice Walker went on a road trip with her mother, back to the stretch between Eatonton and Milledgeville where she had grown up. At a lecture Walker had given, someone had pointed out that Walker had grown up just minutes from Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor’s dairy farm. Walker, an O’Connor fan, decided to visit both the place she lived and O’Connor’s Andalusia. She found her childhood home in ruins and O’Connor’s vacant house largely intact.
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25 Photos of Famous Authors in Uniform

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What is it about a uniform? They can be practical, decorative, honorific, or just something you found lying around — but they always make the wearer look a little bit better. Especially if that wearer is a famous writer, someone whom you think of only in a T-shirt and sweatpants, banging away at the typewriter in the near-dark.
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Gore Vidal’s Insane, Rejected Cairo Pulp Novel Resurfaces

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The little man shook his great head. “I have been to many countries. I’ve done many things. Now I play piano at Le Couteau Rouge.”

“What do you know about a woman named Hélène de Rastignac, a French countess?”

Le Mouche sighed. “Many things. I know, for instance, that she is not French, but Alexandrian, and I know that she is not a countess.”

“But is she rich?”

“I shouldn’t be surprised.”

“Was she a spy in the war?”

“Everyone in Cairo was a spy. It was the thing to be.”
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50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time

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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!
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10 of the All-Time Greatest Masturbation Scenes in Literature

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This week saw the release of Ben Lerner’s 10:04, which, beside being a truly remarkable book, happens to feature a hilarious scene of masturbation. Despite the fact that it has been dubbed by some “literature’s last taboo,” the onanist impulse crops up more than you’d think in novels, and often makes for some great — or at least greatly amusing — writing. After the jump, a few favorites from literature both classic and contemporary for you to giggle over.
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Stereotyping Your College Roommate by Their Favorite Book

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As we approach the time of the year when students start trickling in to college campuses, decorating their dorm rooms with stuff from IKEA and Target and trying really hard to sound like they know what they’re talking about, many incoming freshmen are surely wondering what their new roommates will be like. And although the surveys schools use to match night owls and messy kids with others who share their habits may cover the basics, you can tell a lot more about a person by looking at the prized books they lug along with them to make sure their classmates can tell how cultured they are. Here are a few common picks, and what they say about the 18-year-old who loves them.
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20 Great Biographies of Famous Authors

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There’s always something exciting about reading a literary figure’s memoir, learning the details of their personal life (those they’re willing to share, anyway) and getting a glimpse into their creative process. But it’s perhaps more illuminating to read an outsider’s account of a literary great, assembled from years of reporting and sifting through private papers. A literary biography might not be as sensational as, say, the life story of a doomed Hollywood starlet (although certainly a fair number of novelists, playwrights, and poets have lived turbulent lives), but they do offer a complete picture that shatters the fourth walls of our favorite writers’ work. Here’s a collection of great bios that accomplish just …Read More