Recommended Reading: Octavia’s Daughters

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The Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz, highfalutin’ literary author though he may be, has famously mourned the fact that there will be no more Octavia Butler books. The iconic Black author, who won both a PEN Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur “Genius” grant—not to mention the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Locus—died in 2006, leaving behind her nearly twenty … Read More

Recommended Reading: Season of the Witch

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In this month’s column for LitReactor, I share six dark fairy tales that everyone should read–by the end of the month, of course–by the women who reinvented the form: Angela Carter, A.S. Byatt, Kelly Link, Aimee Bender, Kate Bernheimer, and Karen Joy Fowler. The term fairy tale is often deployed for things that seem too good to be true (say, a fairy … Read More

Coming Home to Hart

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I’m from a small town in rural West Michigan, and this week, I returned to my hometown library a published author. Though it wasn’t a huge crowd–maybe twenty or so–extra chairs had to be brought out to accommodate those in attendance, among them my old teachers, former neighbors, and high school classmates. The questions were personal and intelligent and heartfelt, … Read More

Some Thoughts on “Self-Promotion”

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I’m generally not into offering criticism of anyone but politicians on the Internet. But this post, entitled, “Try Hard in Clown Shoes,” mystifies me, and perhaps my thoughts here might be useful to other debut authors faced with the task of self-promotion. The author of this article seems to hold that promoting your own work is embarrassing at least and … Read More