Posts Tagged ‘writing’
Feminist writer and activist Maxine Hong Kingston talks to me about using Walt Whitman as a character, why she loves Virginia Woolf, and superstitions about writing on SMITH magazine.
Tags: classic literature, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, Kate Millet, Kate Millet Flying, Maxine Hong Kingston, Maxine Hong Kingston interview, Memoir, Orlando, SMITH magazine, superstition, vanity, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, women's personal writing, writing
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Read my entire feminist critique of Steve Martin’s novel on Bookslut.
An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin’s latest novel about New York City’s art collecting scene begins in the early ’90s, and rapidly moves to 2010: Christie’s, Sotheby’s, downtown parties, and uptown apartments. Martin’s protagonist, the ambitious and savvy Lacey Yeager, arrives in New York, originally from Atlanta, with a penchant for art history. But from the beginning, Martin establishes that Lacey is not to be confused with other precious, fresh-faced 23-year-olds. Lacey is as aware of her beauty as she is of a Cezanne, and often uses her understanding of both to her professional advantage. She accepts a position as Sotheby’s, selling art by commission, and ascends her social climb from there, meeting everyone worth knowing and eventually developing a taste for “objects of beauty.” Lacey parlays her commissions into her own budding art collection, purchasing a small Andy Warhol before the value skyrockets some years later.
Tags: An Object of Beauty: A Novel, Bookslut, commercial fiction, female characters, female protagonist, Manhattan, new york city, sexism, Steve Martin, the male gaze, writing
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Dear loyal readers,
I’m pleased to announce that my short story “Dorian in Germany” has been selected for Slice Magazine’s 8th Issue: Lies & Make-Believe to be published this April.
“Dorian in Germany” concerns the life of Dorian Shelley, a young woman living in the 1940s who endures a broken engagement that shames her family. Her depressive temperament and melancholy disposition are closely observed by her much younger brother, Brandon, who struggles to understand his sister’s loss. When Dorian’s family abruptly disowns her for reasons unbeknown to Brandon, he develops a fascination with the country to which she has fled: Germany.
The cover of Issue 8 is designed by prominent illustrator, Sophie Blackall, known for her illustrations in Big Red Lollipop, Pecan Pie Baby, and many others. The spring/summer issue will also feature interviews with Ray Bradbury, Joshua Ferris, and Lev Grossman.
Issue 8: Lies & Make-Believe is available to pre-order here.
More details to come as I learn of them.
Erin Blakemore’s debut book chronicles the most important heroines of the literary canon as well as their authoresses. Beginning with the life stories of writers like Zora Neale Hurston, Betty Smith, and Harper Lee, Blakemore then transitions to the inspiration behind their most notable protagonists, marking financial hardships, marital woes, and the illnesses that obstructed their respective literary paths.
Blakemore mines these literary figures for inspirational qualities, looking to Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God for faith, Celie in The Color Purple for dignity, and the infamous Claudine in Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette’s Claudine novels for indulgence.
Blakemore applies an autobiographical read of these classic literary giants when analyzing characters like Scarlett O’Hara or Jo March, inviting the reader to study the kernels that gave them such notable fictional females. Louisa May Alcott’s poverty-stricken childhood and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s complex relationship with her daughter are shared in an effort to understand how these experiences may have shaped their work.
Blakemore’s indisputable passion for the literary canon, and more specifically for the women who have helped punctuate it, make this pocket-sized dose of literary criticism a very quick read. Her light-hearted study of the many functions and facets of these classic literary figures evidences a childhood, as well as a womanhood, devoted to understanding literature. Employing a feminist understanding of Mary Lennox and Lizzy Bennet, Blakemore always looks to the circumstances, history, and societal expectations of both heroine and authoress.
What makes The Heroine’s Bookshelf a gem amongst leather-bound tomes, however, is Blakemore’s unassuming narrative; she presents complex literary themes and character analysis in ebullient prose. Much like the fervent notes you might scratch to yourself in a college level English course on women characters, The Heroine’s Bookshelf reads as the diary of an impassioned student rather than the essay you would turn in.
A delight for seasoned readers of classic literature or younger first-timers, The Heroine’s Bookshelf prompts a revisit to favorite novels while encouraging others to tackle what they have not yet read.
To read more about Erin Blakemore, click here.
Tags: Betty Smith, Celie, classic literature, Claudine, Erin Blakemore, female roles, feminist analysis, God, Gone With the Wind, Harper Lee, heroine, identity, Jane Austen, Janie Crawford, Jo March, Laura Ingalls Wilder, literary canon, literary criticism, literary fiction, Little Women, Lizzy Bennet, Louisa May Alcott, marriage, Mary Lennox, motherhood, Scarlett O'Hara, Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette, The Color Purple, The Heroine's Bookshelf, The Secret Garden, Their Eyes Were Watching God, writing, Zora Neale Hurston
Posted in Literary Criticism No Comments »