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Blog Profile / The Millions

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:9789
Posts / Week:32.5
Archived Since:February 11, 2009

Blog Post Archive

For Her

Leave it to Roxane Gay to come up with a novel format for an essay on the feminist novel. In the new issue of Dissent, she presents eleven theses on the topic, including references to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, and Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Sample quote: “Not […]

When Updike Met Barth

Barth continued to express admiration and respect toward Updike. Updike returned the praise, though more often with soft mentions that he hadn’t quite finished Barth’s most recent books.

“Speaking of Memory”

In an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Peter Birkenhead goes back to Nabokov‘s Speak, Memory and considers “the way our memories tell themselves to us: in hints, collisions, and rushes, overlapping, upside down, out of order.” Pair with our own Garth Risk Hallberg‘s piece on reading Ada, or Ardor.

Love Letter Requiem

“I think of the book as a love letter in the form of a requiem.” Our own Emily St. John Mandel, whose novel Station Eleven was recently shortlisted for the National Book Award, was interviewed for Omnivoracious about writing, apocalypse and the beauty of the modern world.

“Platonic Word”

Recommended reading: Edward Mendelson reflects on “how bizarrely Platonic [Microsoft] Word can be” and on writing in WordPerfect, where “the world seems more open, a place where endings can’t be predicted, where freedom might be rea...

What’s “Appropriate”

We’ve been following the YA debate quite attentively – I wrote about it just last week – but Sarah Burnes‘s addition to the conversation, a blog post for The Paris Review, is one of the most eloquent I’ve read. In defense of reading YA fiction as a “grown-up” she writes, “The binary between children’s and […]


“I have a theory: the thing that makes you a unique writer hasn’t got so much to do with your influences as it does with how you became a writer in the first place. I think your preferences—your obsessions—come just as much from the first sorts of things you consumed and were passionate about. Whether […]

If Shakespeare Was a Programmer

“While it’s easy to dismiss coding as rote exercise—a matter of following rules—it’s worth remembering that natural language is subject to rules of its own: grammar, syntax, spelling. The best writers test these rules, bend them, or break them outright, and in doing so they keep the language alive…. With that in mind, I wanted […]

Special Snowflakes

“There are people who believe that readers and writers—at least the right kind of readers and writers—are special snowflakes, existing on a more exalted plane than mere mortals. Book people are educated. They are privileged. They are brave enough to speak out when the emperor shows up naked. They sup on nectar from flowers grown […]

Interview with John Darnielle

Recommended viewing: John Darnielle talks about his debut novel, Wolf in White Van, in a video for the Los Angeles Review of Books.


“At bottom, the argument about copyright is not really a philosophical argument. It’s a battle between interest groups.” Louis Menand writes about American copyright law in the digital age for The New Yorker, and his essay pairs well with the many articles on copyright we’ve published over the years.

White Noise on White Noise

“In the silence, there is solitude. In the solitude, there is silence. This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature.” Don DeLillo, author of White Noise, “reviews“ Taylor Swift‘s white noise for The […]

The Duality of the Human Psyche: On John Lahr’s Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Lahr states in the preface that he constructed the book closer to a profile than a traditional biography. In this way, he listens to the music. Texture, seemingly improvisational moments, comes from the layering of different sounds. Elements overlap and knock up against each other.

Sartre and the Nobel Prize

50 years and 1 day ago Jean-Paul Sartre turned down the Nobel Prize in Literature. Yesterday Steve Neumann wrote for The Airship about what writers can learn from Sartre’s refusal.

The Most Terrifying Books

With Halloween a week away, The New York Times asked Ayana Mathis and Francine Prose about the “most terrifying” books they’ve read. Their choices? Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tales. Pair their combined essays with Flavorwire‘s list of “50 of the Scariest Short Stories” and our own Ben Dooley‘s brief […]

Ruined, Old, Endless: On Blake Butler’s 300,000,000

Butler’s central trope has always been the idea of homes, our private Americas. But Butler’s house has many rooms. 300,000,000 is a new testament; what happens when prose becomes prophecy.

The Joan Didion Documentary

There is going to be a documentary about Joan Didion. We repeat: a documentary about Joan Didion. This is not a drill.  Watch the opening trailer and consider donating to the Kickstarter campaign here, and be sure to read our own Michael Borne‘s review of Blue Nights and S.J. Culver‘s Millions essay on “Getting Out: […]

Patron Saint of Decency & Feminism

Fanny Trollope, Anthony’s mother, taught America a thing or two about decency and feminism: her scathing pen wrote books about the excesses of American society and its alienation of women. Over at Bloom, Cynthia Miller Coffel writes about this trailblazing woman who should be considered “the patron saint of middle aged women writers.”

The Art of Dialogue: A Symposium

Everybody, shut up. Now, I realize that a group of writers like yourselves would jump all over the chance to point out the irony of me beginning a symposium on dialogue by telling everyone to shut up, but I don’t want to hear it, okay? Let’s just get this over with. Jane Smiley, let’s begin with you.

End Games

Recommended Reading: Drew Nelles on Ben Lerner’s 10:04 and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

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