Zora Neale Hurston

A Nonfiction Tour of America: 50 Books for 50 States

Whether you’re staying at home this summer or traveling around to different parts of America, the easiest way to discover what makes this country tick, in ways both maddening and beautiful, is to read some books. To aid you on this virtual journey, Flavorwire has dug up some of the best nonfiction about specific American locations — in this case, our 50 states — and found 50 books that will shed light on every corner of the… Read More

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20 Great Southern Short Stories

The American South has produced an incredible amount of great literature. Earlier this month, we published a hearty list of classic novels to come out of the region. But for those who don’t have the hours to devote to Southern culture’s long-form masterpieces, there’s plenty of great short fiction set south of the Mason-Dixon, too. Featuring some famous tales by literary greats like William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Flannery O’Connor, this list is a great way to start exploring Southern short… Read More

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50 of the Best Books You Haven’t Read by Authors You Already Love

Looking for something to read but don’t want to stray too far from the authors you know and love? Seeking undiscovered literary gems to talk about at dinner parties? Want to delve into the backlist of a certain Great American Author? Well, Flavorwire has got you covered. After all, sometimes, amazing books just get lost in the shuffle, whether it’s because they’re before their time, fall out of fashion, or their author has one blockbuster that blots out all the rest. Click through to check out 50 great under-appreciated, under-read, and overshadowed novels by 50 of your favorite… Read More

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25 Fascinating Photos of Famous Writers at Home

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

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Photos of Famous Authors Reading Famous Books

“If you want to be a writer,” Stephen King tells us at the beginning of his classic craft book On Writing, “you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” We think it’s pretty fair to say that King has done both — and so have most other famous authors. After all, that’s how they got there. But what do they read? We scoured the web to find pictures of a few of our favorite authors reading — and from what we can tell, they spend a lot of time reading their own books (or at least a lot of time being photographed reading them). After the jump, check out a few famous authors reading, whether their own books or other writers’, and if you have a cool photo we missed, add to our collection in the comments! … Read More

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10 More Scathing Early Reviews of Classic Novels

Well, we can never get enough of poking fun at the unduly critical, can we? Last week, we shared fifteen scathing early reviews of classic novels, and some of you pitched in with some of your own favorites. We took a few of your suggestions, both here and at Metafilter, added a few more of our own, and put together a second list of a few more critics who got it wrong, this time hating on Hemingway, Tolkien, Steinbeck and more. Now don’t get us wrong — everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to judge the past from the future. Click through to read ten more scathing early reviews of books we now consider to be classics, and chuckle over how you know better (or admit that you secretly agree) in the comments. … Read More

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10 Books We Would Give Blue Ivy Carter

What to give the baby that has everything (including a song on the Billboard chart)? Not one to go handing out $7,000 pink Swarovski-crystal bathtubs to newborns like some aunties we could name, excellent gift-giver Oprah reportedly gave Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s brand new baby girl, “a trunk full of children’s books” for the occasion of her birth. Exactly which books are contained within? We may never know. Since we try to follow Oprah’s lead in all parts of our lives, we got to thinking about what books we would give little Blue for a life as American royalty. With those genes she’s got, we basically expect her to immediately become a full-on child prodigy, so we haven’t limited ourselves to children’s books, but imagined a starter bookshelf that will have her discovering new things at least until high school. Click through to read our gift list for Blue Ivy, and let us know what books you might give the celebrity baby in the comments. … Read More

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Enduring Stories of Heartache from a Touring Museum

The Museum of Broken Relationships is just what it purports to be: a place where one can donate or discard objects that remind you of your former paramour. If you’re in London these next few weeks, we suggest you head over to the Tristan Bates Theatre before September 4 to see the exhibition in person. As it says on the website: “Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation: by contributing to the Museum’s collection.” Scroll through our gallery to see real objects that have been sent to the museum, as well as stories which relate to the items in question (in a few cases, with some additional help from us), and if you’re feeling inspired, click here to send in your own item. What are some objects from past relationships you’ve kept, dear readers? Kindly tell us in the comments section below. … Read More

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Literary Divas We Can’t Help But Love

There are divas and there are their lesser-known male counterparts, divos; the thing that unites them is their willingness to make demands and to do whatever it takes to stay in the spotlight. You cannot wrestle their trophies away from them; they will never give you the opportunity. A diva is a prima donna; the ego is there for all to see. There’s a vulnerability to that which can be touching, but most of the time you’ll never see it because the show they put on often obscures any real sense of themselves; they create and become spectacles — especially in the book world. … Read More

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A Collection of Wonderful Books by Morally Questionable People

We like to think of our favorite writers as people we would get along with. So much of what attracts us to literature and philosophy is its author’s stated or implied worldview that it’s disturbing to find out that the writers we love have lived morally questionable — or even reprehensible — lives. Laura Miller examined this disappointment in a piece for Salon earlier this week, ultimately concluding that, “needing to believe that your favorite author lived in an exemplary way, embodying all the virtues of his best work, is an adolescent desire, passionate but ultimately unfair. Learning the truth is disillusioning at first, but enlightening in the end.”

In the spirit of hating the author but loving the work, we’ve rounded up a collection of great books by poets, novelist, and philosophers with unsettling biographies, featuring both writers Miller mentions and some of our own favorite scoundrels. Spoiler alert: the modernists were a pretty colorful bunch. … Read More

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