Monthly Archives: May, 2012

This Is What You Shall Do

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to […]

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Mary Wesley, a Post-40 Bloomer at The Millions

If you’re in the mood for a little arsenic without the old lace, a little posh smut, some Jane Austen with sex… or if you just want to learn a bit more about Mary Wesley, a wild woman of letters who was first published at age 70 and went on to write ten bestselling books […]

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The End of the Orange?

The Orange Prize has always been a favorite topic around these parts, whether we’re celebrating, handicapping, or complaining. So it was with heavy heart that I read the Guardian’s announcement last week that Orange, the UK telecom company behind the prize, is withdrawing its sponsorship. The prize was first established to address the fact that […]

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In Which the Booker Prize Judging Panel Promises Not to Tick Me Off This Year

The Booker Prize has long been my favorite literary award, but over the last few years it has been letting me down. There was the year when the dreadful thriller Child 44 made the longlist and the actual prize was bestowed on The White Tiger; there was the year The Finkler Question won; and then […]

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Lynne Barrett’s (Bad) Girls

When I’m ready for a break from Emerson and Thoreau—currently the only titles beyond a guide to Greek mythology loaded on a gifted Kindle—I gravitate toward points on the literary number line that aren’t controlled by fampires and other figures of the character undead. (And yes, I hope I just coined a word; may famous […]

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Hilary Mantel on Anne Boleyn

On Wednesday, Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies landed on my doorstep. This is (as you probably know) the second book in Mantel’s trilogy about Thomas Cromwell and features the fascinating Anne Boleyn as a major character. I’d been awaiting this book as eagerly as I anticipated A Dance with Dragons last year, which is […]

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Pocket Review: The Cove by Ron Rash

The Cove Ron Rash Ecco, 2012 On its surface, Ron Rash’s new novel isn’t an overtly political tale. It’s a love story, an adventure, and a mystery, set in the mountains of North Carolina during World War I. But The Cove is also deeply concerned with the fate of the outsider, taking on issues of […]

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Uncover a Classic for Hesperus Press

Since 2002 Hesperus Press, an independent publisher based in London, has been reissuing neglected classics, unsung contemporary fiction, translations, biographies, histories, and authoritative nonfiction from all over the world. The press’s motto is Et Remotissima Prope, which translates from the Latin as “bringing near what is far”; if anyone around here is celebrating the underdog, […]

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RIP Maurice Sendak

You can pretty well date yourself by which Maurice Sendak books you had around as a child. I remember an already-tattered copy of A Hole is to Dig that predated me, and a handsome little set of the Nutshell Library that I was given at some point. And even though Where the Wild Things Are […]

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Open Letters Monthly, May 2012

Mayday, Mayday! Well, OK… Cinco de Mayo, then. It’s been a busy week. But whatever your holiday, the May issue of Open Letters Monthly is out. It’s a bit on the dark and dystopian side, much like the month itself. Well, OK… May’s neither dark nor dystopian. But everyone needs a little antidote to flowers […]

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