As kids, we were always fascinated by the meaning of our names — what did they say about us? What ancient history were we somehow connected to? And while we’re not so interested for ourselves anymore (as you can see, this writer has a pretty boring last name), it’s still fun to find out what other people’s names mean. Especially if those other people are famous writers, some of whom are now known only by the words that surround and come from them. To this end, we did some snooping, and using a mixture of foreign language dictionaries and online genealogy databases, we came up with the list below. Some might surprise you — but some fit like a glove. After the jump, school yourself on the meaning of 20 famous authors’ last names, and if you know of any secrets we’ve missed, add to our list 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
You might know Diane Farr as agent Megan Reeves in the television series Numb3rs, but we prefer her in the FunnyOrDie skit, AssCastles. Farr recently released her “concept memoir,” titled, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After, where she introduces her relationship with her Korean-American husband in order to explore how other couples and their families have dealt with miscegenation issues. Though the writing isn’t stellar, the fundamental premise is a good one, since we still very much live in a racist country, despite all the “post-race” discussions we all had following the 2008 presidential election.
With this in mind, we decided to run a list of 10 controversial couples in literature. We all know the forbidden romance between Romeo and Juliet and Heloise and Abelard, but what about other works of literature that feature transgressive love? The categories are as follows: Age difference, racial difference, star-crossing, class mixing, same-sex relationships, extramarital affairs, and our favorite: sibling love. … Read More
Last month, The New York Times ran a slideshow of Norman Mailer’s Brooklyn Heights apartment, which will be up for sale shortly. This got us thinking about our favorite authors, where they lived, and how much our environment shapes our work. (If it does, then we’re really in trouble, since we mostly write in a dark Brooklyn apartment with neighbors who smoke packs of cigarettes and scream at their children in languages we don’t understand.) A.N. Devers, a literary pilgrim, commissioned Michael Fusco and Emma Straub to make great, inexpensive posters of authors’ domiciles — from Emily Dickinson’s homestead to Zora Neale Hurston’s modest bungalow — and they are available here. If you’re interested in a writer’s first person account of her tour of famous authors’ homes, then check out A Skeptic’s Guide to Writers’ Houses by Anne Trubek. Click through now to take a virtual tour of some of our favorite writers’ residences. … Read More