James Howard Kunstler’s Post-Apocalyptic Village: The Witch of Hebron
FICTION / READINGS / REVIEW

James Howard Kunstler’s Post-Apocalyptic Village: The Witch of Hebron

Like Emily Barton’s The Testament of Yves Gundron, another novel that looks at technology and culture – through a decidedly opinionated eye – is James Howard Kunstler’s The Witch of Hebron. The second in a series of post-apocalyptic novels (the first being World Made by Hand), Kunstler’s mythic novel imagines a remote upstate New York … Continue reading »

Modern Researcher Stumbles Into Medieval Village: In Emily Barton’s Wildly Imaginative Novel, Cultures Clash
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Modern Researcher Stumbles Into Medieval Village: In Emily Barton’s Wildly Imaginative Novel, Cultures Clash

Emily Barton’s elegant and innovative novel The Testament of Yves Gundron explores an imagined collision of past and future. The remote island nation of Mandragora is a medieval village untouched by the modern world until yeoman farmer Yves Gundron  invents a rudimentary, but critical technology, and young Cambridge anthropologist Ruth Blum stumbles into the village. … Continue reading »

Imaginative Possessions:  Tusiata Avia, Fiona Farrell, and Other New Zealand Poets in JAAM
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Imaginative Possessions: Tusiata Avia, Fiona Farrell, and Other New Zealand Poets in JAAM

While browsing through the bins at The Paper Nautilus, came across an unfamiliar publication: JAAM, which stands for Just Another Art Movement, an annual journal of writing published in Wellington, NZ. This particular issue – #29, published in 2011 shortly after the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand, includes pieces that reflect the upheavals, and suggest … Continue reading »

Murder, Theft, & Secret Codes: Eleven Unsolved Literary Mysteries
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Murder, Theft, & Secret Codes: Eleven Unsolved Literary Mysteries

1. Who Really Wrote “The Night Before Christmas?” Clement Clarke Moore was the first to claim authorship of the classic poem. But the family of Henry Livingston Jr. begs to differ. Poetic forensics, a house fire, and a link to Washington Irving deepen the mystery. Stacy Conradt, writing for Mental Floss, takes on the mystery. … Continue reading »

A Tribute to George (Saunders). No Reading 2014′s Best Until You Read 2013′s Best.
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A Tribute to George (Saunders). No Reading 2014′s Best Until You Read 2013′s Best.

We’re well into 2014, but perhaps you still have some of last year’s reading left. Stop and do not pass Go until you catch up with this one. “The best book you’ll read this year,” that 2013 New York Times Magazine assumption in search of rebuttal, introduces George Saunders’ Tenth of Dec.  So….anyhoo, let’s get … Continue reading »

The Gimme: What to Read this Week, May 31
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The Gimme: What to Read this Week, May 31

ICYMI, News to Read: The New York Times reports that beleagured Veteran’s Administration chief Erik Shinseki resigns, and many of the comments provide insight. Also resigning, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and Huffington Post’s Katherine Fung posts some of his epic clashes here. Vigorous gender discussion and commentary continues (#yesallwomen v. #notallmen), precipitated by … Continue reading »

The Strange, Gothic Tale of a Neglected Genius, Romantic Poet Mary Webb
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The Strange, Gothic Tale of a Neglected Genius, Romantic Poet Mary Webb

We tend to buy old books at library and tag sales to rescue them, particularly poetry books by women, suspecting they never had much of an audience. Who knows what hidden brilliance we might find? Of course, the path to discovery is usually well-worn, and someone in Britain will have formed a Literary Society in … Continue reading »

Featured Bookshop: the “Fiercely Indie, Truly Local” Owl & Turtle in Camden, Maine
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Featured Bookshop: the “Fiercely Indie, Truly Local” Owl & Turtle in Camden, Maine

The Owl & Turtle Bookshop is a pleasure to visit, and we encourage you to drive to beautiful Camden, Maine, and go there as soon as possible. Camden is a bit of a tourist destination, so there’s a nice selection of restaurants, shops, and accommodations, but it’s not crowded: you can find parking if you drive, … Continue reading »

“Old People are a Problem” – How Emyr Humphreys, Sebastian Barry, & Other Authors Write About the Old
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“Old People are a Problem” – How Emyr Humphreys, Sebastian Barry, & Other Authors Write About the Old

Let’s look at some works about old people, by authors who won’t make you snooze off in your chair. In honor of the Hay Festival, the Library of Wales is offering free stories from Volumes I and II of Story, the Library’s anthology of the finest Welsh short fiction, during the month of May. We’re … Continue reading »