Why We Love Our Genres

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The best thing about running a site like LitStack is the diversity of folks you meet. Our writers come from all walks of life; their ages vary from those still in college, to a granny or two. With this diversity comes a variety of tastes and preferences, a fact that is exhibited in the wide [….]

LitStack Rec: Who Do You Love: Stories & The Name of the Wind

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Who Do You Love: Stories, by Jean Thompson My favorite short stories all seem to have qualities in common: something singular happens to a character, usually out of nowhere; the setting is exceptionally vivid—almost a character in itself; and the narrator can shift easily from the deepest parts of the character to a span of [….]

LitStack Review: ‘Lydia’s Party’ by Margaret Hawkins

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Lydia’s Party Margaret Hawkins Penguin Group/Viking ISBN 978-0-670-01576-4 Lydia teaches art at a small local college. She lives in a house in a suburb of Chicago with her ex-husband. And she hosts a party for her closest girlfriends every January. The party has evolved over the years and has become a highlight of the year, [….]

LitStack Review: ‘Visible City’ by Tova Mirvis

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Visible City Tova Mirvis Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN: 978-0-544-04774-7 Despite living in a city of over eight million people, the characters in Tova Mirvis’s recently released novel, Visible City, feel utterly alone. Set in a New York City neighborhood, Mirvis masterfully weaves the lives of her characters together through random encounters and circumstances. Nina is [….]

The Books That Scare the Crap Out of Us

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  There’s nothing quite like a great scare. Whether it’s the anticipation of monsters under your bed or the freaky feeling of shadowy figures hiding just around a darkened corner, being scared is certainly an adrenaline rush we enjoy. What intensifies the thrill of a great scare for us is when it comes from our [….]

LitStack Review: ‘A Tale for the Time Being’ by Ruth Ozeki

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A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki Viking Adult ISBN-10:0670026638 A few weeks ago, J. Robert Lennon stirred up controversy with his article in Salon.com about the staleness in contemporary literary fiction. As a fan of both literary and genre fiction, I wanted to argue with him, but I was unfortunately reading A Tale [….]

Declaration of Independence: Justin Hamm on the museum of americana

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Declaration of Independence: Justin Hamm on the museum of americana This past summer, Justin Hamm took a creative leap of faith. Merging a love of historical American culture with online publishing, he founded the literary review the museum of americana, and in swift order assembled a website, an editorial team and a creative vision that [….]

LitStaff Picks: The Books We Are Most Passionate About

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There are books we love. There are, of course, books that resonate with us. There are books that make us laugh, make us outraged, motivate us to effect change. And then, there are books with the transformative power to alter the paths of our lives, that speak to us so sincerely, with such an acute [….]

From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction, by Robert Olen Butler

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There is no scarcity of advice for the student of creative writing. Guidance abounds, running the gamut from technical analyses to methods for kickstarting the creative impulse. Where the latter is concerned, the writer is advised to try writing to music, or daily journaling or cataloging her dreams (something this writer’s dreams are far too [….]

The Cove by Ron Rash

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The Cove Ron Rash Harper Collins ISBN: 978-0-06-180419-9 The one thing Laurel Shelton is most afraid of is the one thing she has lived with her whole life – loneliness. Set in the mountains of North Carolina during World War I, Rash’s latest novel, The Cove, finds Laurel living with her brother Hank in an [….]