‘We Wear the Mask’ is a poem by the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), written in 1895 and included in Dunbar’s 1896 collection Majors and Minors. In the poem, Dunbar writes about the fact that many members of a marginalised community (which can be tacitly understood to mean the Black community in this context)
TODAY: In 1873, Colette is born. How Edith Wharton foresaw the 21st century: “The scandals documented in Wharton’s narratives serve as harbingers of the sensations that flash across our hand-held screens.” | Lit Hub Biography Helen Betya Rubinstein wonders if the power inherent in copyediting causes more harm than good. | Lit Hub When Georges Lemaître, physicist, mathematician,
January 27, 2023, 10:18am The man largely responsible for one of the great rock anthems of the 1980s, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” told an interviewer recently that he’s writing a novel about toxic masculinity. It’s called Frats, and as Dee Snider (who’s 67!) explained on the show Full Metal Jackie: “The novel is a
‘The Lady, or the Tiger?’ is a widely studied short story by the American writer Frank R. Stockton (1834-1902). This classic short story, which was first published in The Century magazine in 1882, began life as a story Stockton told at a party; he published it when it received a strong response from his friends.
January 27, 2023, 11:48am At a ceremony in New York on Thursday, Villa Albertine announced the winners of the first Albertine Translation Prize, which honors “the best contemporary French literature in English translation,” as selected by a committee of independent professional experts. “Together with the authors and publishers, [these translators] have created works of literature
TODAY: In 1938, Zitkala-Sa dies at 61. Helen Betya Rubinstein asks if copyediting is worse than meaningless and actually causes harm. | Lit Hub Lauren Fleshman on the problem at the heart of women’s sports culture: “The message to me at 14 was that compliance, coachability, and even beauty might be more important than
‘My Papa’s Waltz’ is one of the most popular and most widely studied poems by the American poet Theodore Roethke (1908-63). In this poem, published in 1948, Roethke recalls dancing with his drunken father, remembering this childhood experience with mixed feelings. You can read ‘My Papa’s Waltz’ here – the poem takes around one minute
January 26, 2023, 9:54am On Wednesday, the 41st John Dos Passos Prize was awarded to Uruguayan American writer Carolina De Robertis (The President and the Frog; Cantoras; The Gods of Tango) by Longwood University. The Dos Passos Prize is the oldest literary award given by a Virginia college or university, and every year honors an “American writer
‘Two-Headed Calf’ is a short poem by the American poet Laura Gilpin (1950-2007). If Gilpin had written nothing else besides this nine-line poem she would be fondly remembered by many, because in this short piece she manages to pack as much powerful emotion as we find in many longer poems. The poem is about a
January 24, 2023, 3:33pm There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than existing IP—thus, the Oscars are historically adaptation-friendly. Last year, 50% of the Best Picture nominations were based on books and plays; in 2016, it was 63%. According to Adam Morgan at the Chicago Review of Books, on six separate occasions, 100% of the Best Picture nominees
Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-84) was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry: Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral appeared in 1773 when she was probably still in her early twenties. Because Wheatley stands at the beginning of a long tradition of African-American poetry, it’s worth considering some of her best and
January 24, 2023, 11:00am Today, Chicago-based arts organization United States Artists announced their 45 2023 USA Fellows, a group that includes four Writing Fellows, each of whom will receive an unrestricted cash award of $50,000. Previous USA Writing Fellows include Kiese Laymon, Claudia Rankine, Teju Cole, Alexander Chee, Ocean Vuong, Sharon Olds, and Fred Moten.
January 23, 2023, 2:17pm If you’ve ever dreamed of being cool enough to go to Sundance (same), I’ve got good news for you: you can buy tickets for virtual screenings for only $20 a pop! This year’s fest has an enticing lineup, as always, but we’re a website about books, so we recommend the following
‘Everyday Use’ is one of the most popular and widely studied short stories by Alice Walker. It was first published in Harper’s Magazine in 1973 before being collected in Walker’s short-story collection In Love and Trouble. Walker uses ‘Everyday Use’ to explore different attitudes towards Black American culture and heritage. You can read the story
January 23, 2023, 9:36am Late last week, a new profile of boygenius—the “world’s most exciting supergroup,” in case you didn’t know, consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker—reminded us all that they are huge book nerds. (They also dropped some new music, but that’s really beside the point.) “Boygenius likes to read, and
My earliest memories are of the apocalypse. As a child I would sit on my grandmother’s knee as she read scripture from the Holy Bible and bellowed end-times prophecy. Stories that revolved around fire, ash, blood, and tribulation, great clashes of angels and beasts and the armies of man, all of it culminating in the