Lit List: February 10, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Gloria Anzaldúa. Credit: K. Kendall via Flickr

Gloria Anzaldúa. Credit: K. Kendall via Flickr

  • La Malinche, a misunderstood figure of Mexican history, seen by Octavio Paz and Gloria Anzaldúa The New Inquiry
  • Why we must reflect on Black History Month and the legacies of Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. The New York Times
  • If Aquinas is a philospher, so are Islamic theologians Aeon
  • Hilton Als on James Baldwin's "luminescent words describing and analyzing dark matters" The New Yorker 
  • The decline of French intellectuals and the decline of France as a construction by French intellectuals The Los Angeles Review of Books 
  • Eva Weber's Black Out is a documentary about the resourcefulness of students in resource-strapped Conakry, Guinea Africa Is A Country
  • The "cranky, creative, controversial" art collectives of the 1950s and 60s Guernica
  • Jacob Riis on the New York tenements whose inhabitants yearned to breathe free Lapham's Quarterly

Lit List: February 8, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Jane Jacobs. Credit: public domain via New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Library of Congress

Jane Jacobs. Credit: public domain via New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Library of Congress

  • Jane Jacobs's Vital Little Plans introduced humanism to how we think about cities The Nation
  • Fred Korematsu Speaks Out is a children's book about Japanese internment in the 1940s The Los Angeles Review of Books
  • Migration and bearing witness in Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Refugees NPR 
  • César Aira reimagines and unravels the literary traditions of his native Argentina in The Captive Bookforum
  • Fariha Róisín on what borders really mean and how they come to be Hazlitt 
  • By Saladin Ahmed, a short story about a djinn named Qumqam who doesn't meddle in human affairs...usually Slate
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on two books about Muslims and the 400-year history of Muslims in America The New York Times
  • The history the oceans tell, from Derrida to Glissant The New Inquiry

Lit List: February 6, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Min Jin Lee. Credit: Elena Siebert.

Min Jin Lee. Credit: Elena Siebert.

  • Rahawa Haile hiked the Appalachian trail, sustained along the way by Black literature Buzzfeed Reader
  • Multiculturalism and cross-pollination are "the lifeblood of art," writes poet and translator George Szirtes The Guardian
  • Walt Whitman's diet and exercise regimen prescriptions for "manly men" involve subsisting on red meat Broadly 
  • Simon Goldhill's A Very Queer Family Indeed complicates modern ideas about sex and homosexuality in the Victorian era The Atlantic 
  • Min Jin Lee's Pachinko is a wide-ranging, minutely observed novel about four generations of Korean immigrants to Japan The New York Times 
  • James Baldwin should make you feel uncomfortable The Ringer 
  • Jack London's last book was a different kind of adventure than his other work, exploring interstellar travel and solitary confinement The Public Domain Review 

Lit List: February 1, 2017


Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 George Herriman

George Herriman

  • In Flannery O'Connor's The Displaced Person, World War II refugees are relocated to the American South Lapham's Quarterly 
  • Safia Elhillo's January Children blends traditional and modern poetry in her novel about a generation of Sudanese children born between two eras The Jeli
  • George Herriman, author of Krazy Kat, dropped hints throughout his work of the secret that would have cost him his career The New York Review of Books 
  • Read poems from the seven countries whose citizens are banned from the US PBS
  • "Reaping Something New": the rich web of influences of 19th-century African-American literature The Chronicle of Higher Education 
  • What teaching poetry to children can show you about being an adult on the Internet Poetry Foundation
  • The coming of age novel as historical document, by poet Ruby Brunton The New Inquiry 
  • Was Dr. Seuss, for all his flaws, "America's first anti-fascist children's writer?" The Atlantic 

Lit List: January 30, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Basma Abdel Aziz

Basma Abdel Aziz

  • Beyond the Arab Spring, a fight for freedom in the digital age LSP 
  • "Thousands of miles away, people haggle over...you, and the days of your life and how you will live them": a former refugee's tale The Atlantic 
  • The Iranian poet who was turned away at the border The New Yorker 
  • The lives of 11 American radicals Lithub 
  • Some lighter fare: on YouTube tutorials, the "waste bin of popular culture" The Paris Review
  • "How art making is like world building" Hyperallergic 
  • How one writer rediscovered her hometown of Beirut Guernica
  • "No justice, only grace," in Natashia Deón's novel of the life and death of a woman who escapes enslavement The Los Angeles Review of Books 
  • Matt Sienkiewicz's The Other Air Force examines how the American State Department has molded Middle Eastern media The New Inquiry

Lit List: January 27, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Porochista Khapour

Porochista Khapour

  • The Jaipur Literary Festival experienced political upheaval, mirroring the cultural battles gripping India The New York Times  
  • Porochista Khakpour: portrait of the artist as a debut novelist Lithub
  • "Do Not Believe Me Were I to Talk to You of War," by Asmaa Azaieh Asymptote 
  • In Asghar Farhadi's latest film, a couple's marriage sours while they act in a production of Death of a Salesman The Atlantic
  • "The Mourners" by Chanelle Benz: "If ever they were to speak again it must be now through the spirit." Electric Literature
  • Why rats are typecast as villains: a literary history Atlas Obscura 
  • Obsessed and the menace of domestic thrillers The Paris Review 

Lit List: January 25, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Mrudula Bhavani

Mrudula Bhavani

  • Peter Abrahams, an anti-imperialist South African novelist exiled in Jamaica, dies at 97 The New York Times 
  • Steven Kinzer's The True Flag explains "the birth of American empire" NPR 
  • James Baldwin and the "unbearable tension" between him and the Nation of Islam Catapult
  • Krys Lee, an "accidental activist" turned author, talks about her book How I Became a North Korean Guernica 
  • "Quarantine" by Alix Ohlin: a story of how friends grow apart The New Yorker
  • An unpublished fairytale by Mark Twain titled "The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine"--his only surviving children's story--sees the light The Guardian 
  • "Come girl, let's kick up a row" by Mrudula Bhavani:  "Around us are Walls Rails Bridges Interrupted rivers Severed legs Unsold ice cream" Asymptote 

Lit List: January 23, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Abdourahman Waberi. Source: Paolo Montanaro

Abdourahman Waberi. Source: Paolo Montanaro

  • Dorothea Lasky and Alex Dimitrov, the minds behind the Twitter account Astro Poets, interviewed LSP 
  • About "Write A House," the nonprofit that houses writers in foreclosed Detroit homes Electric Literature
  • Claudia Rankine has founded the Racial Imaginary Institute, which aims to promote critical thinking about racism The New Yorker
  • Spoken word poet Malcolm London explains why "poets are the legislation of the people." The Los Angeles Review of Books 
  • The Pilgrim: a literary magazine created by homeless writers and poets The Pacific Standard 
  • Abdourahman Waberi's "A Harvest of Skulls": witnessing Rwanda's reconstruction in Kigali, 1998. Asymptote
  • Ursula K. Le Guin on John Galt's 1810 Annals of the Parish, a "book that time forgot" Public Books

Lit List: January 20, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Zadie Smith. Source: David Shankbone

Zadie Smith. Source: David Shankbone

  • The National Endowment for the Arts may cease to exist; here's why that matters The Chicago Tribune
  • "My President Was Black": the end of an era The Atlantic
  • Zadie Smith on political nostalgia and navigating identity in different times and places NPR
  • On Weather: An excerpt from "In the Wake," by Christina Sharpe The New Inquiry
  • The "Great Refusal": does artists' dissent make a difference? The New Yorker
  • Filthy, unseemly, coarse knavery: the history and linguistics of profanity The New York Review of Books

Lit List: January 18, 2017

Good evening readers. Here's your round-up of today's must-read literary news, commentary and fiction.

 Elif Batuman: Source: Baruch College

Elif Batuman: Source: Baruch College

  • The lifelong embarrassment of writing poetry Poetry Foundation
  • Why Shakespeare's Othello feels "truly, viscerally American" MTV 
  • Confronting the ignoble side of bipartisan hero Atticus Finch The Paris Review 
  • So you're getting published. This is definitely the least obnoxious possible way to announce it McSweeney's 
  • How and why an immigrant family lost its culture Catapult
  • Black American artists' search for a utopia Hazlitt
  • "Inaugural Poem for [REDACTED]," by jay dodd Lithub 
  • Wole Soyinka swore to tear up his green card, and he kept his word--here's why The Atlantic
  • Lemony Snicket, né Daniel Handler, talks TV adaptations and writing enigmas that are solvable, but not too solvable The Observer
  • Elif Batuman on Proust, Dostoevsky, and the "ridiculous age" that is adolescence The New Yorker