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Tag: Literature

Celebrating the Vibrant Lifestyle of Jean Stein


Family and longtime friends of the author and editor, who died on April 30, recall her remarkable social gatherings and her lively spirit.

Posted on May 20, 2017 READ MORE
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The Islamic Jesus


Mustafa Akyol’s book tells Christians, Muslims and Jews exactly what we all have in common and how we got this way. It reaches us not a minute too soon.

Posted on May 12, 2017 READ MORE

The Handmaid’s Tale


Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel is a recipe book for how to create a hellish society. It’s also a recipe book for how to resist.

Posted on May 5, 2017 READ MORE

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: A Harrowing Warning From a Fictional Future to a Tense Present


Ladies, hold onto your bonnets—Margaret Atwood’s dystopian horror classic is done justice in Hulu’s brutally vivid and uncomfortably relevant 10-part series.

Posted on Apr 26, 2017 READ MORE

The CIA’s 60-Year History of Fake News: How the Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers

Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer interviews Joel Whitney, author of “Finks,” about how the spy agency turned literary figures into propagandists for militarism and imperial power. Transcript added.

Posted on Mar 17, 2017 WATCH & LISTEN

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu


Although the title is deceiving for those expecting the fast-paced heroics of James Bond, the reader will find that this account of a small group of ordinary people risking their lives to preserve their culture is an even more rewarding and essential story.

Posted on Dec 23, 2016 READ MORE

Where the Jews Aren’t


A new book examines the brief history of an autonomous Jewish region in Russia, founded in 1929. It lasted until Stalin ordered the eradication of its Jewish identity in 1948, burning Yiddish books, banning the Yiddish language, and executing by firing squad its Yiddish writers.

Posted on Sep 2, 2016 READ MORE

‘Finks’ Explores the Blurred Line Between Propaganda and Literature


The collaboration between the CIA and some of the world’s most acclaimed writers is investigated in this gripping new book.

Posted on Aug 2, 2016 READ MORE

Critics, Monsters, Fanatics


In a new collection of her essays, Cynthia Ozick impresses us with flashes of brilliance but always seems to be mourning the magic, beauty and intellectual rigor of an earlier time.

Posted on Jul 9, 2016 READ MORE

Sherman Alexie on Writing ‘Thunder Boy Jr.’ for Brown Kids and Growing Into His Own Name


In his latest work, an illustrated children’s book, the acclaimed writer tackles new territory, drawing from his relationship to his name, his father and his tribal roots.

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 READ MORE

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Author Harper Lee Dies at 89


Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a novel about racism in the Jim Crow South that became beloved by millions and a classic of American literature, died Friday in Monroeville, Ala.

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 READ MORE

2015 in Review: Truthdig’s Books of the Year


A look back at some of our favorites from the reading stack.

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 READ MORE

Safe Space









Posted on Dec 14, 2015 ENLARGE

The Sequel









Posted on Jul 15, 2015 ENLARGE

Truthdigger of the Week: Juan Felipe Herrera, the Next U.S. Poet Laureate


The Californian has been a powerful voice in telling the Latino story, but his reach is not limited by culture. In his new post he wants to use poetry as a force for unity—“to bring us closer together. That’s the heart of it.”

Posted on Jun 14, 2015 READ MORE

Writers’ PEN Protest Reignites Charlie Hebdo Debate


Six novelists have withdrawn as hosts of a PEN event, saying they took the action to protest against an award to the controversial French publication Charlie Hebdo.

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 READ MORE

Beloved Uruguayan Author Eduardo Galeano Dies

The Latin American writer commonly regarded as the poet laureate of the anti-globalization movement has succumbed to lung cancer at age 74. Watch all of his interviews on “Democracy Now!”

Posted on Apr 13, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN

The Instant Gratification Culture Is Killing Fine Writers


A sometimes acrid essay by an author and former creative writing professor delivers some tough love to people hoping to become published writers.

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 READ MORE

Truthdigger of the Week: South African Writer André Brink


AP

With Brink’s passing, South Africa has lost one of its most powerful literary and political voices. The first Afrikaans writer to have produced a book banned by the apartheid government, Brink wrote courageous stories that explored the harshest aspects of South African society.

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 READ MORE

Albert Camus: Past and Present


Camus remains the writer who always speaks to individuals, never to groups. He remains perpetually relevant without ever quite being fashionable.

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 READ MORE

Over Half a Century After ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Harper Lee Plans to Publish Second Novel


The new book takes place 20 years after the events described in the 1960 best-seller.

Posted on Feb 3, 2015 READ MORE

Junot Díaz: ‘We Live in a Society Where Default Whiteness Goes Unremarked’


In a recent interview published in the academic journal Paradoxa, Pulitzer prize-winning writer Junot Díaz puts his finger on the reason why racism is still so rampant in American society.

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 READ MORE

Science Fiction Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Movingly Warns Against the Dangers of Capitalism (Video)


“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings,” said Ursula K. Le Guin in her acceptance speech for the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th annual National Book Awards ceremony. “[But] any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.”

Posted on Nov 22, 2014 READ MORE

A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing


You either let this innovative novel, written in an impressionistic style reflecting a fragmented and damaged psyche, teach you how to read it, or you suffer through what could feel like a migraine in print.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE

War on Extremism









Posted on Sep 28, 2014 ENLARGE

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye Discusses What It Was Like Growing Up in Palestine and Ferguson


W.T. Pfefferle (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Naomi Shihab Nye, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and an award-winning writer, was raised in two of the most frequently discussed conflict zones in the news today. In a recent piece for The Washington Post, Nye talks about the lessons she learned while living in lands that are still divided by racial tensions.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE

A Conversation With Garry Wills


Truthdig talks with the writer/historian about his new book, “Making Make-Believe Real,” which considers Shakespeare and the political power of poetry.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE

Maya Angelou









Posted on May 31, 2014 ENLARGE

Where Macondo Came Alive


AP Photo/Andres Reyes, FNPI

Years before I met him, Gabriel Garcia Marquez changed my life.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE

Gabriel García Márquez









Posted on Apr 18, 2014 ENLARGE

Colombian Nobel Laureate, Author and Journalist Gabriel García Márquez Dies at 87


The writer, who is considered by many to be the creator of magical realism, died Thursday in Mexico where he’d lived for 30 years.

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 READ MORE

Women, Poets Rejoice! There Are New Laureates in Town and They Happen to All Be Female


Literature Wales / Llenyddiaeth Cymru (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have all chosen women as their poet laureates this year.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 READ MORE

Free Homes for Writers in Detroit? (Video)


Write A House

Directors of the nonprofit Write A House are bent on fixing up some portion of the Michigan city’s thousands and thousands of vacant and blighted homes and handing them over to writers for virtually nothing, forever.

Posted on Dec 26, 2013 READ MORE

George Orwell Nearly Died Halfway Through Writing ‘1984’


Axel Schwenke (CC-BY-SA)

One of the most important books ever written almost never happened.

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 READ MORE

Chris Hedges on the Role of Art in Rebellion

After a talk on the collapse of complex societies, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges answers an audience question: “Will it take [literature, music and art] to waken us to the empathy of other suffering or hardship?”

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN

Franz Kafka









Posted on Nov 25, 2013 ENLARGE

Doris Lessing, Voice for Many Ages, Dies at 94


AP/Martin Cleaver

Doris Lessing, an influential and prolific writer who made her mark in more than 50 novels, as well as short stories, essays and poems, died Sunday in London at age 94. 

Posted on Nov 17, 2013 READ MORE

Punk Hostages Practice the Healing Power of Literature


Neil Kremer (CC-BY-ND)

Two veterans of L.A.’s punk scene are bringing books and creative writing to institutionalized people in prisons, shelters and recovery programs.

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 READ MORE

From the Rubble of the Syrian Civil War, Visceral Poetry Arises


FreedomHouse (CC BY 2.0)

Turning away from the religious metaphors of the past, Syria’s new verse relies on realistic, raw descriptions inspired by war and expresses the hope for a united country to be formed. But the outspoken nature of this emerging literary tradition comes at a price.

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 READ MORE

Happy Birthday, Hemingway!


Flickr/Robert Burdock

Sunday would be Ernest Hemingway’s 114th birthday. More than anyone, he cleaned out the stuffy British conventions that clogged American writing in the 1920s and allowed the next generation to find their own voices.

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 READ MORE

We Are All Aboard the Pequod


Flickr/Pete Simon

Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” is a portrait of the American character, and like the crew of Ahab’s ship we are complicit in self-annihilation.

Posted on Jul 7, 2013 READ MORE

The News That Wasn’t Fit to Print


The New York Times ignores a historic environmental demonstration in D.C.; accused hacker Jeremy Hammond speaks out against the government’s faulty “cybersecurity strategy” regarding Aaron Swartz’s prosecution; meanwhile, nudists in Vienna attend an art exhibit on “Nude Men From 1800 to Today” to show off their goods. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Feb 22, 2013 READ MORE

A New Front in the War on Terror


Zaheer Chauhan

In an attempt to promote international understanding, the Jaipur Literature Festival fights against “the terrorism of the mind,” said the event’s producer, Sanjoy Roy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2013 READ MORE

Election 2012









Posted on Dec 21, 2012 ENLARGE    

Reports of Publishing’s Death Are Exaggerated


AP/Michael Probst

Some people think the book business in on its last legs. But others think it isn’t a business at all.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 READ MORE

Literary Icons Rushdie and le Carré End 15-Year Feud


Alexander Baxevanis (CC-BY)

Nobody fights better than writers, so it’s a little sad that novelists Salman Rushdie and John le Carré have agreed to stop hating each other.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 READ MORE

Philip Roth Quietly Calls it Quits


cdrummbks (CC BY 2.0)

The glum-faced author announced what appears to be his retirement in a “little-noticed” interview with a French magazine. “To tell you the truth, I’m done,” Roth told Les Inrocks in October, adding that he has not written anything in three years.

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 READ MORE

The S&M Election


Illustration by Mr. Fish

I learned at the age of 10, when I was shipped off to a New England boarding school where the hazing of younger boys was the principal form of recreation, that those who hunger for power are psychopathic bastards.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 READ MORE

The Mirage of Our Lives


Book cover from McSweeney's

In Dave Eggers’ “A Hologram for the King,” an ordinary man comes to realize that managers like him who made outsourcing possible will be discarded as human refuse now that the globalization process is complete, left to wander like ghosts among the ruins.

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 READ MORE

Vidal: ‘I Am the Enemy to So Many’


AP

Throughout his adult life and probably his youth, Gore Vidal enjoyed the sort of playful self-adulation that is often mistaken for arrogance when committed by members of the American upper class.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 READ MORE

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