9 stand-out post-apocalyptic novels

From Write Right Now. I am thinking we should probably read more of these books—lessons to be learned.

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Capote Classic ‘In Cold Blood’ Tainted by Long-Lost Files

From The Wall Street Journal, the opening paragraphs:

Truman Capote’s masterwork of murder, “In Cold Blood,” cemented two reputations when first published almost five decades ago: his own, as a literary innovator, and detective Alvin Dewey Jr.’s as the most famous Kansas lawman since Wyatt Earp.

But new evidence undermines Mr. Capote’s claim that his best seller was an “immaculately factual” recounting of the bloody slaughter of the Clutter family in their Kansas farmhouse. It also calls into question the image of Mr. Dewey as the brilliant, haunted hero.

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Orson Scott Card on Science Fiction

From The Browser—FiveBooks Interviews:

“The point of a futuristic novel isn’t to predict the future. The point is to show how humans adapt and change to deal with whatever the future brings. The skills that sci-fi readers practice are adaptability, resourcefulness, calmness in the face of change and stress.”



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Secret Lives of Readers

From The Chronicle Review. Until I read this article, I had no idea that their were people studying reading in the manner explained here:

How do we recover the reading experiences of the past? Lately scholars have stepped up the hunt for evidence of how people over time have interacted with books, newspapers, and other printed material.

“You’re looking for teardrops on the page,” says Leah Price, a professor of English at Harvard University and the author of How to Do Things With Books in Victorian Britain (Princeton University Press, 2012). “You’re looking for some hard evidence of what the book did to its reader”—and what the reader did with the book.

In the overall scheme of things, I wonder why?

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The Ideal Bookshelf

It doesn’t really exist, but My Ideal Bookshelf: Portraits of Famous Creators Through the Spines of Their Favorite Books provides some insight to “those aspirational bookshelves we all hold in our heads (and, ideally, on our walls), full of all the books that helped us discover and rediscover who we are, what we stand for, and what we’d like to become.” From brain pickings.

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European Detective Fiction

From the Guardian, via The Long Good Read:

One of the functions of fiction is to serve as a kind of tourism, either showing us places, situations and people that we might not otherwise reach or scrolling through snapshots of events or sensations that we remember. Crime stories rarely serve the latter purpose – most admirers of homicide novels will, thankfully, never become or even know a murder victim – but are a perfect illustration of the former.

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Indian Fiction in America

From The Millions:

Fiction written in English by authors of Indian descent has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful for decades. Now a new wave of talent has arrived…

Why does nobody eat in books?

When I saw the title, “Lawrence Norfolk: why does nobody eat in books?,” I immediately thought of the famous eating scene in the 1963 film Tom Jones. And, sure enough, there it was, before the article even began, referencing the “meaty performance” of Joyce Redman.

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Conrad, Marlow, Africa

The introduction from Today in Literature:

On this day in 1890, thirty-two year-old Joseph Conrad took command of a small stern-wheeler for the trip down the Congo river from Stanley Falls (now Boyoma Falls) to Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). Though Conrad was not exposed to the full horror that Marlow witnessed and felt beckon, these experiences were the genesis of Heart of Darkness, published twelve years later.

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Simenon and Inspector Maigret

From Today in Literature:

On this day in 1989 Georges Simenon died at the age of eighty-six. Most accounts of Simenon’s writing life begin with the numbers: some 500 books published, seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short stories in the world-famous Inspector Maigret series, a daily output sometimes as high as eighty pages, total sales sometimes figured as high as 1.5 billion.

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