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Blog Profile / The Millions

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:9693
Posts / Week:32.5
Archived Since:February 11, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Out There

A half-century ago, Thomas Berger published Little Big Man, a satire of Westerns that helped increase the stature of the Western genre as a whole. To mark the book’s 50th anniversary, Allen Barra reflects on its legacy, suggesting that it’s as good a candidate as any for the title of Great American Novel. Related: Daniel […]

How History Becomes Story – Three Novels

Historical novels, in particular, allow us to relive the past without the neatness of history, and with all the complexity of the present. Here are three novels that successfully transform fact into fiction.

Live fo Ecruos

I’ve recommended a couple of articles in recent weeks about the new novel by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Unfortunately, as Liam O’Brien explains at the Melville House blog, it may not be a good idea to read it, especially if you’re impressionable. Why? The book contains a hidden trove of Satanic messages. (h/t The Rumpus)

Weird Science

“I do remember thinking ‘You can’t get involved in the particle physics of fantasy.’ You can take it down to a certain level but if you get too involved in the particle physics then it’s not [useful] to continue. So I guess we have a branch of science that even its practitioners do not understand, […]

Old Saws

We’ve written before about the By the Book series, in which the Times invites well-known authors to talk about their favorite books. This weekend, they interviewed the historian James M. McPherson, who recalled his childhood reading habits and cited his favorite examples of Civil War literature. Pair with: Darryl Campbell on the Civil War series […]

The Grind

It’s a source of hair-pulling anxiety for artists of all kinds: how can you hold down a day job yet commit yourself to your art? It’s undoubtedly possible, but it’s daunting enough that apprentice writers often need advice on how to do it. Herewith, six artists (including writers Catherine Lacey and Shane Jones) explain how […]

“The Whole Dreaded Terrorist Army of the Past”: Antal Szerb’s Journey By Moonlight

Szerb is an adventurer on the page; the twists and turns of the plot challenge our sense of what a novel can and ought to be. But he is also an ironist. He shows us that our finest resolves are often motivated by shameful secrets or silly desires, and that by fleeing ourselves we end up more self-involved than ever.

Tuesday New Release Day: Smiley; Pittard; Donohue; Cook; Gavron; Roth; MacFarlane; Barthelme; Rankine; Robinson

Out this week: Some Luck by Jane Smiley; Reunion by Hannah Pittard; The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue; Man V. Nature by Diane Cook; The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron; The Hundred Days by Joseph Roth; The Figures of Beauty by David MacFarlane; There Must Be Some Mistake by Frederick Barthelme; Citizen by Claudia […]


The new novel by Colm Tóibín draws largely from the author’s memories of his father passing away when he was young. In a Guardian essay, the author writes about his discovery that literature can be a vessel for grief, with a nod to the writer and Dublin mainstay Mary Lavin. If you’d like to learn more […]

Hot Takes

Recommended Reading: Tim Parks on books and cultural dialogue.

More Homework

A while back, I wrote about Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher, which may be the first novel in history written entirely in the form of recommendation letters. Now, at The Rumpus, Anjali Enteti sits down with Schumacher, who talks about writing by hand, the adjunct crisis, and why it’s okay that so many people […]

Olive Kitteridge on HBO

Soon HBO will have another show based on an acclaimed book in its lineup. Olive Kitteridge, a show based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout, will premiere on November 2nd. You can see the trailer (along with a brief analysis) over at Slate. FYI, Strout wrote a Year in Reading entry for us.

Modern Library Revue: #43 Dance to the Music of Time

Instead of Mary or Jesus or anybody, I suddenly thought only of Anthony Powell, whose beautiful Dance to the Music of Time I was then rereading, and felt an overwhelmingly sense that this is really all we get–that if everything else is taken away, the beauty of someone’s vision of the world is our meager but abiding solace for being in the world.

“Once on This Island”

“I thought it was going to be a short novel, that it was one person’s story. But I was wrong, because history is always shaping everything.” The New York Times reviews Marlon James‘s latest novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, which we covered in our “Great Second-Half 2014 Book Preview.”

Along “The Colbert Bump”

“The Colbert Bump didn’t get so much media attention and public support because everyone wanted to talk about me and my novel. People wanted to support book culture, to say that books and writers matter, and that we should be doing everything we can to ensure their continued existence, if not their success. In short, […]

Creative Person, Creative Life

“How is the life of a creative person—an artist, a designer, a composer—related to his or her work?” The New Yorker lists 7 archived pieces by way of answer.

Twitter Fiction

“I rather like the idea of just using a few brushstrokes to create a whole world. And, of course, with Twitter you do that, you can tell a very big story in a few lines.” Books and Arts Daily talks with Alexander McCall Smith about the new art of Twitter fiction. Pair with the full […]

A Young Writer

Recommended reading: Joseph Scapellato summarizes the life of a young writer for Electric Lit. “You are a young writer. Write.”

Crowdfunding Publishing

There’s been a lot of discussion about self-publishing books, but what about crowdfunding? Online publisher Unbound is proving it could work and has already raised over £1 million and funded 54 books. The model itself couldn’t really be any simpler – “the author pitches an idea and if enough readers support it, the book goes ahead. […]

Rough Starts

We’ve talked about great opening lines before, but what about the rough starts? The American Scholar has listed the “Ten Worst Opening Lines” and believe it or not, they’re well worth reading.

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