Litstack Recs | These Charming People: Stories & The Stargazer’s Sister

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These Charming People, stories by Michael Arlen In the period just after World War One, what was known as the fast set became a fascination for some English writers. The Bright Young Things of the 1920s—decadent young people whose disillusionment with the Great War caused old ideas about society and […]

Litstack Recs | Blue Nights & Ormeshadow

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Blue Nights, by Joan Didion Blue Nights is a counterpart to Didion’s 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, which tracks the aftermath of her husband John Gregory Dunne’s unexpected death in 2003. At the time of Dunne’s death, their daughter, Quintana Roo, was hospitalized, in a coma from a […]

Litstack Rec | The Empty Family & The Snow Child

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The Empty Family: Stories by Colm Tóibín  Colm Tóibín’s 2011 collection, The Empty Family is a book I always keep close at hand, dipping into the pages to take in the voices. Tóibín’s stories mine the loneliness of living outside your home country, and his characters confront the pull of […]

Litstack Recs | The Films in My Life & The Space Between Worlds

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The Films in My Life, by Francois Truffaut We are lucky that Francois Truffaut was in his short life a prolific filmmaker and a prolific critic as well. One of the founders of the French new wave, Truffaut broke cinematic ground with personal films like The 400 Blows, Jules and […]

Litstack Recs |Paris Stories & Slow River

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Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant When the great story writer Mavis Gallant died, I thought of a story from her 2002 collection, Paris Stories, “Mlle. Dias de Corta.” Mademoiselle is the boarder of a financially strapped Parisian widow, a distant yet fascinating immigrant actress who withholds secrets but whose actions […]

Litstack Rec |Desperate Characters & Luster

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Desperate Characters by Paula Fox This classic of literary fiction, written in 1970, is also a classic example of a book that was lost to readers, then found. In 1999, when this novel—and all Paula Fox’s adult novels—fell out of print, interest in the author and her work was almost […]

Litstack Recs | The 400 Blows & Hamnet

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The 400 Blows, by Francois Truffaut 2019 marked the 60th anniversary of the release of Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, a film that changed cinema, and on its debut, brought immediate recognition to the then-unknown director. In May, 1959, The 400 Blows won the Grand Prize for Direction at the […]

Litstack Recs | Current WTAW Press Titles & Other Americans

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Current WTAW Press Titles WTAW Press has two great 2019 titles, Chimerica, the debut novel from Anita Fellicelli, and Like Water and Other Stories, the English-language debut of Olga Zilberbourg. And both are available as Ebooks. In Chimerica, by Anita Felicelli (Love Songs of a Lost Continent), down-on-her-luck Tamil American […]

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 […]