The Black Sheep of Her Country

The Black Sheep of Her Country

All the Birds, Singing

FA review tag

The heroine of All the Birds, Singingby Evie Wyld does push-ups when she’s angry or confused, and as a result she looks big, broad-chested, muscular. Also, her name is Jake. Also, she shears sheep for a living, and if you’ve never wrestled a 300-pound beast while hacking at its skin with large scissors, this is more strenuous labor than you might expect. All of which means that Jake comes…

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A(nderson) to Z(weig): The 10 Best Ways to Experience Stefan Zweig’s Influence on The Grand Budapest Hotel

A(nderson) to Z(weig): The 10 Best Ways to Experience Stefan Zweig’s Influence on The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel

With The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson has ushered in a little Renaissance in the appreciation of Stefan Zweig. To get a sense of how much Anderson’s film is indebted to Zweig, watch this video of Tom Wilkinson, playing his character from the movie, as he reads verbatim from Zweig’s memoir.

Wilkinson in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Oops, I meant to say—this is a list of the 10 best ways to experience Stefan Zweig’s influence on Th…

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Chrysalis Violence

White Girls

FA review tag

A boy reads “Jabberwocky” for the first time and is troubled. There are words in the poem he doesn’t know. Words that aren’t like other words he hasn’t known in poems or stories before. He goes to a dictionary or asks a parent and discovers, even more troubling, there are words in the poem that Lewis Carroll…just made up. Apparently, you can do that, just…make up new words for new things and…

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All the Birds, Singing Hits Shelves

All the Birds, Singing Hits Shelves

All the Birds, Singing

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld comes out today!

It’s the story of an extremely standoffish girl who flees the rough-and-tumble sheep stations of Australia for a craggy farm in Britain. Why she fled, and how she plans to survive in a world of livestock, forced prostitution, and lifelong guilt, is the question that burns this story plainly and pitilessly down to the nub, like a candle’s…

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The Critical Hit Awards with Laura Miller of Salon.com

Me: You’ve been writing for Salon for nearly 20 years. In that time, book reviews have largely migrated from print publications to join you on the web.

“What Happens to People is All About People”

Barbara Ehrenreich’s memoir, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything…

Feelings

The Empathy Exams

FA review tag

The itch started in my leg, and then I felt it somewhere on my back. I was reading an essay about Morgellons disease, a malady in which people feel they are being infested by—what?—a virus, a parasite, something on their skin?—and I began to itch.

For a moment I might have mistaken my itching for empathy for the individuals in the essay, who describe the torments they experience to Leslie…

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Off the Map

Off the Map

I didn’t play many video games as a kid, but when I did, I gravitated toward games with a level editor. Say you’ve beaten all 50 levels of an army-building strategy game; you’ve conquered all the known lands. What next? The best games would provide you with software to build your own levels. Starting with a blank field of grass, you’d drag a forest onto the screen, click a few rivers into…

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How Should an Author Be

How Should an Author Be

MFA vs NYC

FA review tag

Chad Harbach, the editor and introducer of MFA vs NYC, calls his book a “jointly written novel” whose “composite heroine is the fiction writer circa 2014.” What better way to empathize with the composite heroine of this jointly written novel than to read her adventures in the year in which she lives and breathes and, hopefully, still writes? So the first thing I felt upon cracking MFA vs NYCin…

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A Light Breeze of Winter

A Light Breeze of Winter

TheWindsofWinter

So maybe this week was not the best week to talk smack about fantasy novels being serialized online.

Yesterday, George R.R. Martin released a chapter of the next installment in the Song of Ice and Fire series (or the Game of Thrones books, if you’re not being a jerk about it). The next book, The Winds of Winter, is due out God-knows-when, but for now, stop working and read this chapter, titled…

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