First, I just want to start with this: If you haven’t been following The Bottom of Heaven’s roundtable on The Bluest Eye, you’ve been missing out.
stuff white people do: warmly embrace a racist novel (to kill a mockingbird)
I refuse to go along with this week’s warm, feel-good celebrations of Harper Lee’s novel (published fifty years ago today), To Kill a Mockingbird. Simply put, I think that novel is racist, and so is its undying popularity. It’s also racist in a particularly insidious way, because the story and its characters instead seem to so many white people like the very model of good, heartwarming, white anti-racism.
Racialicious: How to Read and Respond to Literature of Colour
All writers have audiences that they are writing for, and it becomes evident who their audience is as soon as they get going. But because much of Great American Lit is written by white writers who are white-centric, much of Great American Lit is written for white folks. So the assumption grows that all audiences and all characters are white – sometimes readers are surprised when they realise all along they have been reading a nonwhite book.
LA Times: Four centuries of writing into America
The Library of America anthology “Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing” is daunting, weighing in at 724 pages…but too good to pass up. Among the writers in its pages are contemporary luminaries Junot Diaz, Jhumpa Lahiri and Edwidge Danticat as well as immigrant Americans from long ago: John James Audubon, Charlie Chaplin and Isaac Bashevis Singer.
The Millions: It’s Not You, It’s Me: Breaking Up With Books
This Recording: In Which We Really Feel For Jonathan Franzen
The Pursuit of Harpyness: In Praise of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy
Bitch Magazine: An Introduction and a Call for Zines
The Daily Beast: The 11 Greatest Literary Feuds
Craig Fehrman: Details’ 1996 Profile of David Foster Wallace