What are some excellent annotated versions of already excellent books? [more inside]
It could be a novel, a non-fiction book, a diary, poem or play. Bonus question: how about the weirdest book from other global literary traditions?
I would like to broaden her mind a little and give her a selection of comics to see which she likes best and see if she takes to reading as a life habit. [more inside]
I'm looking for an essay I read in a collection of critical essays on the origins of literary genres - its thesis was that since the gothic tradition often reversed or undermined mainstream Victorian ideals, it could be seen as a sublimated response to colonial guilt that couldn't be expressed in public. The argument tied it into the practice of keeping looted Egyptian mummies in parlors and the first sprouts of Gothic arriving from the idea of something old and dead and foreign in your home that might be out for revenge. Ring any bells?
What poems / readings would you recommend for a 50th Anniversary? My parents have been having health issues so I would prefer to avoid the usual "ha ha you're falling apart" joke poems about pills and getting infirm. They are somewhat stoic but have a good sense of humor.
In search of novels, memoirs, and other literary works where physical ugliness (NOT beauty, primarily) is a major subject/theme. Thanks!
In the first chapter of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, Marlowe says "I'm thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there's any demand for it. There isn't much in my trade." What does he mean by that? [more inside]
What are the most interestingly designed children's books? I am wanting to find ones with holes in the pages, unusual bindings, strange covers, textures inside, or simply unusual illustrations. Any advice?
Hey Brilliants, I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of spring! I am researching a new project on secession and am looking for examples in literature, film, tv, etc. of stories that are about a US state or city trying to secede from the union. I'm somewhat aware of Texas' ability to secede but am wondering if anyone has written anything about what would happen if another state or city tried to secede. Thanks so much :) [more inside]
I remember reading a short story some time ago, about a little girl who was (I think?) trapped in an invisible labyrinth, and had a salamander (possibly two?) that were her companions. The salamander(s) always had to be moving or they would die/turn to stone. Eventually one (or both) saves the girl, sacrificing himself in the process. Where can I find this story?
I have a faint recollection of reading an essay by C. S. Lewis, in which he discusses reading poetry, and suggests moving one's lips while reading. Does this ring any bells? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember the author and title of a story (at least, I think it's a story). All I really remember is a parent, I think a dad but I could be wrong, sitting in traffic on a bridge. I believe there are at least two kids in the car, and there might be some kind of accident or disaster ongoing or impending, hence the traffic. Possibly earthquake related because I think it's in the Bay Area? I'm pretty sure it's the Golden Gate bridge? But it might just be a generic/elsewhere bridge and I made it the Golden Gate in my mind. It could also be an opening/early scene in a novel? But I feel pretty sure about the short story part, at least. I wish I remembered more, but I know this exists and it's driving me crazy. Short story with parent(s) in car with kid(s) on bridge, possibly set in the Bay Area: ringing any bells?
Are there any book reviewers out there who have great reputations as book reviewers? [more inside]
Looking for fiction, lyric essays, poetry, or theoretical texts that discuss emotional and verbal abuse in romantic relationships. Interested in both fiction and non-fiction, but not interested in self-help, psychology, life coach-y type lit, nor YA novels. [more inside]
[Book recommendation filter] Must be literary. Must be wildly absorbing. Ensemble casts of characters preferred but not required. The longer, the better. Did it sweep YOU off your feet? Tell me about it! [more inside]
I am casually aware of the idea that some people experience some works of narrative fiction by identifying with the protagonist of the story, and by experiencing the protagonist's story as if it were their own. What is the formal name or definition of this idea, and what are some canonical writings about it? [more inside]
You'd think Google would be best for this, but help me out: I have pieces of writing that I would like to share online (non fiction, poetry, short stories, etc.). I have joined various post-your-stuff sites, but I find most of them to be full of teens (which is great! Seems like the kids these days are just cranking stuff out...) posting teen type writing or fan fiction. I'm talking about Wattpad and similar sites. Do you know of any good writer's sites with a social/interactive element (ratings, following, etc.) that have a more mature/literary bent? Thanks! Happy new Year
I am thinking about starting my morning radio show with a very brief "thought for the day," as I have about 20 seconds to fill each morning. Looking for both individual ideas, and sites. More details inside. [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a poem I read in my British Authors class, which, I believe, was written in the first person (maybe even epistolary). It was about a White British hunter somewhere in Colonial East Africa (I believe it was in Kenya?), and I think he was hunting lions, but also metaphorically it was about love... [more inside]
I am trying to remember a series of books I read as a child, as I want to buy some of them for my niece. Can anyone help me find this supernatural, colonial themed book series? [more inside]
Can anybody give me some examples of characters in film, television, or literature who incidentally have an illness or disability (i.e., their illness or disability does not somehow become a central plot device)? [more inside]
A long time ago, on another forum, someone wrote a quote that came from Pride & Prejudice, or some other work by Jane Austen. The quote criticized women who put down other women in an attempt to appeal to men. [more inside]
Hi My nephew is 5, starting school in 2016 January (southern hemisphere semester.) He reads above the average for his age, and his interests vary greatly week to week. Neither of his parents, or Grandparents or extended family have any interest in Mythology or literature at all. He does have some though. He grasps the narrative structures of cartoons and TV shows he likes. He also really enjoys books of classic Fairy Tales like Grimm and Aesop, told for children. He seems like he is ready for Roald Dahhl... [more inside]
I have always held a deep love and excitement for the Southern Gothic literary tradition and its sundry themes. But I've long ago exhausted the likes of Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and most of the well known folks in between. I'm looking for more obscure or unexpected works, like Fred Chappell's "Dagon". Books as well as films. Does not have to be "traditional" Southern Gothic (see below fold). The more psychologically unsettling, the better. [more inside]
Hi Brilliants! Can anyone point me in the direction of a novel, article, documentary, film, tv show, etc. that is about Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or S.A.N.E. nurses? I am doing research for a written piece. I'm mostly interested in what their lifestyle is like, any challenges they face, etc. Thanks so much for your help!
I'm a newly recovering addict, and I just did something stupid- left inpatient rehab 5 days into the program- for a fairly good reason: Patients at this particular institution aren't allowed to READ "non-recovery-related material" during free time. Good news in, I'm going back tomorrow- but not before a trip to the discount bookstore to pick up any and all readable "recovery-related material" I can put my hands on. Problem: This is not a genre with which I am familiar. Help? [more inside]
Looking for poetry that is warm, thoughtful, deceptively plainspoken, esp. if very rooted in place? Examples: poets like Naomi Shihab Nye, Ellen Bass, Wendell Berry, William Stafford, Hayden Carruth [more inside]
I’m looking for recommendations for conventional short stories that are reasonably easy to read and have some literary merit. When I say “conventional”, I mean stories that have a distinct plot, with recognizable characters, and some kind of clear resolution at the end. [more inside]
I'm hosting my bookclub's discussion of Under the Skin and per tradition providing dinner inspired by the food themes of the book. I'm looking for suggestions about what food to use to represent various comestibles mentioned in the text. [more inside]
The single appearance of the footprint in Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is perhaps one of the most famous events in all of literature. I am interested in who has referenced it, and for what ends, especially in critical theory. I also wonder whether Michel Foucault's famous closing lines to 'The Order of Things' is a subtle reference to the appearance of that footprint? Can other allusions to 'the figure of man' and marks in the sand be traced back to Defoe's novel?
How do I get a good grounding in the study of literature while not a full-time student? What resources (Great Courses, books, textbooks, seminars, courses, etc.) would help? The purpose is to add depth, symbolism, and allusion to my own writing. [more inside]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
My Search-Fu is utterly failing me. Where did I read the line (paraphrased): "He was like a tennis player who mistakes his best game for his everyday game [or natural level or basic capability]". I want to say it was in a novel by a female author,: Lessing, Christie or Woolf maybe? I might be completely wrong. Fairly sure the narrator's voice was female. Can anyone help?
In Per Petterson's great novel, Out Stealing Horses, there is a moment when baby animals appear outside a home. The English translation that is current calls them "fauns". This disturbs me and I have read and re-read the passage to determine if we are talking about "fawns" which would make sense, or goat-footed children, which would be something different. Although others have noted this translation difficulty, no major critic seems to take notice. So, I want to know: "fauns" or "fawns"? [more inside]
I'm looking for books that capture the feel, culturally, politically, and/or otherwise, of the 1990's in America. Can y'all help me out?
Can anyone recommend a good historical examination of literary and performed works throughout all of human history that stood out from their contemporaries for containing exceptionally violent/disturbing imagery, even for their own time? (more 'recent' examples being Titus Andronicus, the various Penny Dreadfuls, de Sade, Milton, etc) [more inside]
Two questions about Flannery O'Connor's "The River". 1) What's a "paper brick house"? 2) What kind of public transportation are the "cars"? [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of authors and musicians who lived artistically unremarkable lives for their first four decades, only beginning to express themselves creatively in their 40s, and who subsequently received critical or popular acclaim for the work they produced during that fifth decade. [more inside]
I'd like to stock up my Kindle relatively inexpensively (and am also a little overwhelmed by the phenomenal quantity of cheap public domain books available). What are the best works of literary fiction under $2 available for the Kindle? Preferences/requirements inside. [more inside]
I’m ordering 300ish books for a children’s library. After reading this thread asking for books featuring feminist-anti-racist-queer-ally characters I realised that our collection is full of books focusing on straight, white (usually male) youth in nuclear families and it’s seriously lacking. Can you folks recommend any books to help me improve our collection? [more inside]
I'm trying to find a quote that fits a romantic (but not overly saccharine) mood that basically says "I do this because of my love for you, I believe in it because you believe in it, I stand by your side against adversity because I know I am with you."
I am working on an article that's due today. My editor wanted me to get some quotes from those who were influenced by/familiar with the work of Anna Akhmatova. Somehow, all but one of my contacts didn't work out, and I only have a couple lines. I am looking for a writer, scholar, translator, etc. who can answer a few questions in complete sentences for a general audience and can do so via email or phone today. Any suggestions?
My cousin needs ideas for a joint class she'll be teaching for a college--she teaches literature, her teaching partner teaches science. (Which science, I don't know, but she says it's not relevant and he can touch on most scientific topics to the required degree.) They need suggestions of literature--poetry, short stories, novellas, or short novels--that she can have the class read, and then he can take them through the science of it. [more inside]
Who was the anthropologist who suggested that multinational corporations are the highest life forms on Earth? Author William Gibson has recounted going to a lecture by a female anthropologist at the University of British Columbia in the late 70s. The anthropologist posited the idea that multinational corporations were the highest life form on Earth, which had a profound influence on Gibson's world view, and therefore on literature influenced by Gibson. Who was this anthropologist? I haven't been able to find out who she was.
Denise Levertov's poem Beginners: specifically in what year did she write it? I know it was published in 1982 or earlier, and I know it's dedicated to two activists who died "in the mid-70s" (although I don't know whether it was dedicated to them posthumously).
I'm trying to find a vaguely-remembered New Yorker article from the 1990s about a young, struggling writer. [more inside]
I am looking for suggestions for works by trans women (or non-binary) writers for a high school English class entitled "Social Issues in Women's Literature." I am especially interested in shorter pieces (poems, short stories, essays), although excerpts from longer things would be all right too. I am trying to take as intersectional an approach as possible, so I would really value a diversity of voices (trans women of color, non-American, both contemporary and older, etc.). [more inside]
I currently work such long hours that I don't have much time to read. I can't read the types of books that I normally would want to - literary fiction - because I am too exhausted to really concentrate at night and I just don't have the time. I also don't want to be stuck in a 400 page novel for 3 months. details inside [more inside]
Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels are set in post-war Naples, and the Catholic Church shows up only peripherally, if at all. There is a wedding in the first novel, and the religious aspects of even this event are hardly acknowledged. Why might this be? [more inside]
What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!