Litstack Rec |An Unnecessary Woman & John Saturnall’s Feast

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two-year-old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment […]

Litstack Recs | #StayHome Summer Reads & The Resisters

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The summer of 2020 is unlike those past—no traveling, no baseball games, limited beach and park time, if any, and none of the barbecues and gatherings under the sun that so define our idea of summer. With that in mind, here are some summer-themed reads, escapes reminiscent of summers past […]

LitStack Recs | Space Opera & Fear: Trump in the White House

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Space Opera, by Catherynne Valente Having recently watched the surprisingly good Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix, I’ve been thinking a lot about Catherynne Valente’s novel Space Opera. The book is in the same vein as the movie – funny, weird, occasionally touching – but being […]

Litstack Recs: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & Tranny

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are at their heart about writing—but they are also about striving to succeed as a […]

Litstack Recs |AUTHOR: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan & Life on Mars

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Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan, with a foreword by Salman Rushdie. Beowulf Sheehan, the literary world’s foremost photographer, has a newly collected volume of stunning photographs of contemporary literature’s most prominent writers—as the publisher tell us, “from Roxane Gay to Masha Gessen, Patti Smith to Zadie Smith, Karl Ove […]

Litstack Recs |Three classics of Writing Craft & The Poet X

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If you’re devoting some of your stay-at-home to a work-in-progress, here are three classics of writing craft to see you through. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, by Francine Prose In this collection, comprised of a series […]

Celebrating PRIDE Month: A Dozen LGBTQA SciFi/Fantasy Books I Would Highly Recommend

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As a middle-aged, monogamous white CIS woman, it may seem strange that I’m recommending LGBTQA books in the scifi/fantasy genre to LitStack readers. But at the risk of seeming insincere, it doesn’t matter to me if the sexuality of players in a tale are straight, gay, non-binary, gender fluid or […]

Litstack Rec |Delayed Rays of a Star & Feed

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Delayed Rays of a Star, by Amanda Lee Koe At a New Year’s Eve ball in 1928, the German-born American photographer and photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped a now-legendary photo of three women: Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, and Leni Riefenstahl. In Amanda Lee Koe’s debut novel, the impromptu portrait is […]

Litstack Recs| Ship Fever & A Wild Sheep Chase

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Ship Fever: Stories by Andrea Barrett The eight stories in Andrea Barrett’s 1996 story collection, which won that year’s National Book Award for fiction, run from historical to contemporary settings, yet there is an essential and unifying voice. Like Edward P. Jones, Jim Shepard, and Hilary Mantel, authors whose work […]

Excerpt: TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini

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Today on LitStack, we’re proud to host the full excerpt of Christopher Paolini’s space odyssey, TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS from Tor Books. The book “follows Kira Navárez, who, during a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, finds an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders […]