Tag: Writing and Writers

Rudolfo Anaya, a Father of Chicano Literature, Dies at 82

Rudolfo Anaya, a writer whose trailblazing explorations of the folkways of the Southwest helped define the Latino experience in the United States, died on Sunday at his home in Albuquerque. He was 82. His niece Belinda Henry said his death followed a long illness. Mr. Anaya burst onto the American literary scene in 1972 with […]

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Steve Inskeep Is Drawn to Books With Nuanced Female Characters

“Years ago I read everything by Hemingway and Raymond Carver,” says the co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and author, most recently, of “Imperfect Union.” “It’s a different experience to read Elif Shafak and Lauren Groff.” What books are on your nightstand? It’s a stack. Here is a selection. “The Anarchy,” William Dalrymple’s history of the […]

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Duchess Goldblatt Is a Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside a Twitter Account

The painting of a 17th-century Dutch aristocrat hangs in the west wing of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. She wears a ruff collar, lace cuffs and a velvet-trimmed brocade jacket with puffed sleeves — the height of Calvinist chic. Painted by Frans Hals in 1633, the subject’s name has been lost to history; […]

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‘A Conflicted Cultural Force’: What It’s Like to Be Black in Publishing

The nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice have set off conversations in nearly every industry about the treatment of Black workers, and book publishing is no exception. The industry has long been criticized for hiring and retaining so few employees of color — according to a survey of the work force released this […]

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Carl Reiner, Multifaceted Master of Comedy, Is Dead at 98

Carl Reiner, who as performer, writer and director earned a place in comedy history several times over, died on Monday night at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 98. His death was confirmed by his daughter, Annie Reiner. Mr. Reiner first attracted national attention in 1950 as Sid Caesar’s multitalented second banana on the […]

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Jim Carrey, Unmasked

Jim Carrey is not doing well at all. At the start of the novel “Memoirs and Misinformation,” we find Carrey, its protagonist, in the midst of an existential crisis, crushed by self-doubt and confined to his Los Angeles home, where he subsists on a diet of Netflix, YouTube and TMZ. His successes as an actor, […]

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Charles Webb, Elusive Author of ‘The Graduate,’ Dies at 81

Charles Webb, who wrote the 1963 novel “The Graduate,” the basis for the hit 1967 film, and then spent decades running from its success, died on June 16 in East Sussex, England. He was 81. A spokesman for his son John confirmed the death, in a hospital, but did not specify the cause. Mr. Webb’s […]

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Assaulted at 15, a Writer Looks Back and Comes Forward

There are so many upsetting things about the assault Lacy Crawford suffered in 1990, when she was 15 and a junior at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, but one of the most upsetting is how commonplace she believes it was. “This may sound disingenuous, but I don’t think my assault is particularly interesting,” she […]

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Overlooked No More: Valerie Solanas, Radical Feminist Who Shot Andy Warhol

Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. This month we’re adding the stories of important L.G.B.T.Q. figures. On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas walked into Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory, with a gun and a plan to enact vengeance. What happened next came […]

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Nine Black Artists and Cultural Leaders on Seeing and Being Seen

“If you’re silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it,” wrote Zora Neale Hurston in her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Throughout this country’s history, black Americans have been reminded near daily that this remains true — both literally and more obliquely. In creative fields, for instance, from the […]

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Nine Black Artists and Cultural Leaders on Seeing and Being Seen

“If you’re silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it,” wrote Zora Neale Hurston in her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Throughout this country’s history, black Americans have been reminded near daily that this remains true — both literally and more obliquely. In creative fields, for instance, from the […]

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Misery and Megalomania: How David Adjmi Became a Playwright

It took David Adjmi 10 years to write his new memoir, “Lot Six” (HarperCollins). The last four months were spent ensuring there were no legal issues. “I never wanted to write a roman à clef but it ended up being that because you can’t use all these names,” the playwright said recently. “I had enough […]

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Naomi Alderman Was Writing a Pandemic Novel Before the Pandemic Hit

LONDON — For two years, Naomi Alderman, the author of the 2017 dystopian novel “The Power,” had been working on her next book. Then in February, with 40,000 words already written, she decided she had to stop. The story she had devised, about tech billionaires fleeing a pandemic, now seemed a little too close to […]

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Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Author of ‘The Shadow of the Wind,’ Dies at 55

MADRID — Carlos Ruiz Zafón, whose mystery novel “The Shadow of the Wind” became one of the best-selling Spanish books of all time, died on Friday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 55. His death was announced by his Spanish publishing house, Planeta. His literary agent, Antonia Kerrigan, said the cause was […]

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Ishmael Reed: My Police Misconduct Experiences

Every black southern family that I’m aware of has a cold case. The murder of a family member by a white man about which records might have disappeared or been deleted. It’s family oral tradition that keeps the story alive. My grandfather, Mack Hopkins, was stabbed by a white man on July 9, 1934. He […]

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David Sedaris, Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

When New York went into lockdown, David Sedaris settled into his apartment on the Upper East Side and canceled his 45-city book tour. “I had bought all these outfits, and I was so looking forward to wearing them,” he said, mentioning with particular wistfulness a lavishly ruffled black Comme de Garçons jacket — “a cross […]

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Mourning the Letters That Will No Longer Be Written, and Remembering the Great Ones That Were

Before the telephone wounded them and email administered the death blow, handwritten letters were useful: They let you know who the crazies were. A lunatic’s barbed wire script would lurch in circles across the page, like a fly with a missing wing. No longer. On Twitter and Gmail and Facebook and elsewhere, the justified left- […]

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Why More Children’s Books Are Tackling Sexual Harassment and Abuse

When Kate Messner read the testimonies of the gymnasts abused by Larry Nassar, she was struck by his behavior early on: giving the girls little gifts and back rubs, or sending them private texts. It got her thinking. “What if we could teach kids to recognize this and speak up, and tell us when someone […]

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What Has Lockdown Meant for L.G.B.T.Q. Artists and Writers?

This article is part of our latest Pride special report, featuring L.G.B.T.Q. voices on the challenges and possibilities of these troubled times. It’s a painful paradox for a group of people who have long fought for visibility: Suddenly a pandemic forces them into isolation. Each one is coping in a different way, harnessing their time […]

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Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado and Thomas Page McBee on What Pride Means Now

This article is part of our latest Pride special report, featuring L.G.B.T.Q. voices on the challenges and possibilities of these troubled times. With protests in the streets and a pandemic ravaging the country, three prominent L.G.B.T.Q. authors consider Pride in 2020. Jericho Brown is the author of “The Tradition,” winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize […]

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The Poems That Poets Turn To in a Time of Strife

Even as much of the world is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, people across the United States have taken to the streets, calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality. We asked 16 poets, including Rita Dove, Kwame Alexander, Joy Harjo and Arthur Sze, about the poets and poetry they’re reading in […]

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Albert Memmi, a ‘Jewish Arab’ Intellectual, Dies at 99

Albert Memmi, a leading mid-20th century French intellectual and writer best known for nonfiction books and novels that unraveled his anomalous identity as an ardent anti-imperialist, an unapologetic Zionist and a self-described “Jewish Arab,” died on May 22 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris. He was 99. His death was announced by Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, the French […]

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Donna Tartt on the Singular Voice, and Pungent Humor, of Charles Portis

It is likely no surprise to readers who love the novels of Charles Portis that everything delightful about his books was delightful about him as a person. The surprise, if anything, was how closely his personality tallied with his work. He was blunt and unpretentious, wholly without conceit. He was polite. He was kind. His […]

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#PublishingPaidMe and a Day of Action Reveal an Industry Reckoning

Authors and book publishing employees are speaking out against the homogeneity of their industry and how much writers of color are paid, issues that are gaining urgency as protests against systemic racism continue around the U.S. Hand-wringing over diversity is nothing new in publishing — its work force is more than three-quarters white, according to […]

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When Dickens Died, America Mourned. Our Archives Tell the Story.

When Charles Dickens died of an apparent stroke on June 9, 1870, the news was not cabled to the United States until later that night. Many New Yorkers did not learn about the British novelist’s death until the morning of June 11, when it was splashed across the front page of The Times. Image No […]

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How White Crime Writers Justified Police Brutality

It’s happening again. It took a fraudulent 911 call, the deaths of three citizens — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd — and tweets from the president endorsing lethal force against a protest movement, but finally the slow-moving American conscience is recoiling in horror. Whites everywhere are describing their “shock” and “disgust.” As they […]

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