FBI and black writers

J. Edgar Hoover had a well-documented penchant for surveillance. But one targeted group has received little attention: black writers…
J. Edgar Hoover had a well-documented penchant for surveillance. But one targeted group has received little attention: black writers… [More]

Writers and the MFA

Anyone who wants to be a writer in America will sooner or later confront the question: To M.F.A or not to M.F.A.?…
Anyone who wants to be a writer in America will sooner or later confront the question: To M.F.A or not to M.F.A.?… [More]

Stifled by Success

Frustration and desperation are the lot of most writers. Even the lucky ones endure lean years. But few things are so compromising as success…
Frustration and desperation are the lot of most writers. Even the lucky ones endure lean years. But few things are so compromising as success… [More]

Why writers want fans who last

For writers, who thrive on isolation, fame is an odd goal. Elusive, too, because world no longer cares about literature. Our Keats is Steve Jobs…
For writers, who thrive on isolation, fame is an odd goal. Elusive, too, because world no longer cares about literature. Our Keats is Steve Jobs… [More]

Death of writing

Universities have become businesses, and businesses now generate knowledge and culture. In such a world, what’s the role of the writer?…
Universities have become businesses, and businesses now generate knowledge and culture. In such a world, what’s the role of the writer?… [More]

My Nemesis, Jill Lepore

Noah Berlatsky spent the past two years working on a book about William Marston, creator of Wonder Woman. Now a soul-crushing reality check: Jill Lepore beat him to it…
Noah Berlatsky spent the past two years working on a book about William Marston, creator of Wonder Woman. Now a soul-crushing reality check: Jill Lepore beat him to it… [More]

Old Books, New Thoughts

“One writes a repellent book not to be repellent but to represent the repellent, to expose it, to reveal how it looks.” Roth rereads Portnoy‘s Complaint…
“One writes a repellent book not to be repellent but to represent the repellent, to expose it, to reveal how it looks.” Roth rereads Portnoy‘s Complaint… [More]

Writers’ private lives

We insist on prying into the lives of writers who seek privacy, like Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger. What is it we’re after?…
We insist on prying into the lives of writers who seek privacy, like Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger. What is it we’re after?… [More]

Last Works

As time runs out. Rarely does a writer knowingly record his last words. And yet writing does tend to focus the mind on
As time runs out. Rarely does a writer knowingly record his last words. And yet writing does tend to focus the mind on [More]

Diagnosis

When writers get cancer, they write about it. But is there anything new to say? Jenny Diski, newly diagnosed, forswears the clichés of the genre…
When writers get cancer, they write about it. But is there anything new to say? Jenny Diski, newly diagnosed, forswears the clichés of the genre… [More]