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We live in an age of self-promotion: Twitter, Facebook–-need I add blogging? A blog post by Nancy K. Miller on She Writes about how Emily Dickinson might feel about our era’s publicity-consciousness got me thinking about how Constance Fenimore Woolson (another 19th-century writer I am writing a biography about) felt about her own literary celebrity. She loved it and hated it at the same time. She wanted recognition, but she didn't want to ask for it and she certainly didn't want anyone to think that she was asking for it. Like Miller, she wanted to write her books and send them out into the world and have people appreciate them for their own sake. But as she discovered, it’s not that simple.
Emily Dickinson’s poem, which Miller cites, sums up Woolson’s attitude as well:
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of…
This week's 1st Books guest, Marybeth Whalen, is the author of four novels, including the just released The Wishing Tree, which Sheila Roberts calls, “A lovely journey of discovery and forgiveness.” She also runs She Reads, an online book club celebrating the best in women’s fiction. I met her at the Pulpwood Queens girlfriend weekend a couple years ago, and she is also incredibly impressive: she raises six children while writing, and she is somehow also calm and nice and attentive. Really a lovely person. I love what she says about the story, that it's "the shortest distance to the human heart," and I love her post, which is both inspiring and chock full of great advice. (Trust me: she's right about the index cards! I do the same thing she does with them.) -…Continue
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you―Nobody―Too? (c. 1861)
Despite Dickinson’s well-known gift for concision, these lines and the ones that follow in the poem, suggest that Dickinson would not have been out there performing the acts of (shameless) self-promotion that writers today have been urged to practice by their publishers, via Twitter, Facebook, and social media sites as yet unknown to me. A friend and writer, Yona McDonough, who knows the poem by heart (she recited it to me from memory), discussed this phenomenon at the reading of another writer friend Daphne Kalotay, who was reading from her new novel Sight Reading the other night at Posman…Continue
The leak of the NSA’s Prism program has everyone thinking about online privacy. In addition to wondering whether your emails to your grandmother are being monitored by the government, you need to think about how much is safe to share on social media networks. The New York Times rule (“Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want published on the front page of The New York Times.”) can apply to social media: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of The New York Times. But let’s say you mostly…Continue
Melissa Studdard has an insightful conversation with prize-winning poet, translator, and essayist, Jane Hirshfield. We focusing on Hirshfield’s most recent collection, Come, Thief: Poems and discuss her other works as well.
Click here to read the rest of the post and to access the replay and download links.
Fried Chicken and Latkes is Rain Pryor’s award winning solo show based on her life. It is an irreverent and poignant look at racism in the late 60’s - early 70’s. Rain completely wrote and created her Off Broadway show including adding some of her own original music and lyrics to the production. Rain was a Los Angeles Times “Critics Choice” and her singing voice and sense of timing were hailed as rare gifts. Fried Chicken…
Jules Finn and Szaja Trautman know that sorrow can sink deeply, so deeply it can drown a soul.
Growing up in her parents’ crazy hippie household on a tiny island off the coast of Boston, Jules’ imaginative sense of humor is the weapon she wields to dodge household chaos. Somewhere between routine discipline with horsewhips, gun-waving gambling debt collectors and LSD-laced breakfast cereal adventures, tragedy strikes with the death of her younger brother.
I went to lunch today with a friend that just a short time ago owned an independent bookstore. Our businesses were adjacent to each other as I helped manage a non-profit art gallery. I always knew her to be an avid reader and grammar was important to her. With that combination of ready skills putting finger to keyboard is just a step away, I often mused.And sure enough. She confessed today that she was a Ghost Writer for an author that did not care to be named. Awesome! When I opened…
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There are several serviceable biographies about child psychoanalyst Anna Freud, who lived from 1895 to 1982. But as a fictional memoir, Hysterical…Continue
A record of O’Barr’s personal and professional journey—one that paralleled…Continue