Who Would Have Thought It?

Who Would Have Thought It?, indeed. María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s novel was published (anonymously) in 1872 to dismissive notices from the few reviewers who bothered to discuss it. In

2009 Book Awards Roundup

‘Tis the season for book awards. Below is a list of the major awards, mostly for literatures in English. Where winners have been announced, I’ve included them, but the lists


My favorite Halloween poem by one of my favorite poets: All Saints Eve – Bruce Bond Here where the last of October tears at the tiny hinges of its great

Words we use thinking we know what they mean when in fact they mean something quite different

Apologies for the long title, which is almost a post in itself. I wish there were a word (and there probably is) for the linguistic category I want to discuss:

Whither the Nobel Prize in Literature?

Last week, the German-speaking, Romanian-born novelist Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I had never heard of Herta Müller, which is not very surprising. If all the great

Your Brain On Literature

Last week the New York Times reported a recent study on brain function published in the journal Psychological Science. This study, conducted by Travis Proulx from the University of California,

The New Fabulists

Does even the idea of reading one of those contemporary, New Yorker-ish short stories about yet another middle-aged couple with a wounded relationship make your eyes close and your snoring

Knick Knack Know How

Recently I have been spending a lot of time listening to nursery rhymes. It’s been at least three decades since I last paid attention to most of these songs, and

Literary Triskaidekadecennary: Wallace Stevens

American poet Wallace Stevens was born on 2 October 1879, which makes today his triskaidekadecennary. (Before you reach for your dictionary, I just made that word up. As a triskaidekaphile,

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