Litstack Rec: Without & Feed

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Without, by Donald Hall In celebration of National Poetry Month It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or what time of day or night it is, when I pick up this collection, I read it from first page to last. Published in 1998, Without traces the illness and death from leukemia of Hall’s wife, the poet [….]

Listack Rec: An Unnecessary Woman & How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

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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 she’s inhabited since the fifties. [….]

Litstack Rec The Goldfinch, & The Dead Lands

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The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt The reception Donna Tartt garnered for her third novel—her first in twelve years—was called a phenomenon and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014 (among other honors). The story centers on young Theo Decker, whose mother is killed in a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of [….]

Litstack Recs: Fairyland & Scribe

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Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, by Alysia Abbott “The truth is,” Alysia Abbot writes in her debut memoir, Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, “I did want to be my dad’s poem. I wanted to be his drawing, his novella, his most refined work of art. I wanted him to shape me with his [….]

LitStack Recs: A Time of Gifts & Wolf in White Van

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A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople, by Patrick Leigh Fermor A classic of the travel memoir genre, A Time of Gifts is Patrick Leigh Fermor’s account of his trek by foot from the Netherlands to Turkey in 1933-34. Though, famously, Fermor didn’t actually write the book until decades later. Published in 1977, the [….]

LitStack Recs: Women in Their Beds & Luna: New Moon

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Women in Their Beds — Gina Berriault To cap off #ShortStoryMonth, my rec this week revisits a collection by one of my favorite story writers, Gina Berriault. Her admirers span Richard Ford, Grace Paley, and Robert Stone, but American fiction writer Berriault may be one of most revered writers you’ve never heard of. Cynthia Ozick [….]

Persistence and the Writer’s Road: Lauren Alwan’s “An Amount of Discretion”

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When you are a creative type, staying in your own lane leads you places. For me, that meant moving in circles that opened paths to relationships with other writers. I’ve done writer’s workshops with New York Times bestsellers before and after they hit the “Big” list. I’ve helped friends edit and revamp stories and queries [….]

LitStack Rec: The Empty Family & Company Town

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The Empty Family, by Colm Tóibín  For #ShortStoryMonth, I’m recapping some favorite story collections—and chief among the story writers I admire is Colm Tóibín. And his 2011 collection, The Empty Family is one I always keep close by, dipping into the pages to take in the voices of its starkly vivid narrators. Tóibín’s stories mine [….]

LitStack Review: Earn It! by Cinders McLeod

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2017) Teaching children financial literacy—knowing how money works and having the skills to make informed decisions about personal money matters—is said to be a concept best started early. The financial wisdom runs that parents should introduce the subject when children are young, and talk often, keeping an [….]

LitStack Rec: Two Award-Winning Titles from WTAW Press & Born A Crime

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And There And There was Evening And There Was Morning, Essays on Illness, Loss, and Love, by Mike Smith The Truth About Me: Stories, by Louise Marburg WTAW Press, a new independent nonprofit publisher, hit a home run last week when their two inaugural titles, released in 2017, each received top prizes from the Independent [….]