Tag Archives: intellectuals

Short Saturday: Your Children’s Intellectual Life at Stake

You’ve heard me say this before: I grew up in a home filled with books and magazines, music and musical instruments. I have known from my youth that exposure to this made a huge difference in my intellectual life. (That I cared about having an intellectual life at all I owe to my parents too.) […]

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Begging the Penultimate Question

I have some bad news for you. You’ve been using that phrase wrong. I’ve had friends and colleagues use it wrong—in writing—and I have bitten my tongue, because, as you know, I am not a corrector unless I’ve been asked to be one. But I recently read it in Roxane Gay’s excellent (and moving) collection […]

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Short Saturday: The Joy of Editing

I just sent back a first pass edit on a well-researched novel set in the Middle Ages. I can tell you this only because it rang true; the few facts I know about medieval life could dance on the head of a pin with room to spare for several angels. But I knew enough to […]

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Short Saturday: I Am Not Editing Our Conversation

No, really. I’m not. Not outwardly, not inwardly. Promise. The Old Editor Says … Edit to live, don’t live to edit.* It’s not your job to correct other people’s speech. It’s not your job to correct menus or public signage. It’s not your job, however much it may appeal to you as an avocation, to […]

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Short Saturday: Isaacson’s 5 Easy Theses

As you know, I’ve become interested in the nature of creativity and inspiration, and have written about it here several times—just this week, in fact.* Shortly after I wrote that post, I read an article by author Walter Isaacson in the October 2014 Vanity Fair … about creativity and inspiration. Isaacson calls this innovation (his […]

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Short Saturday: The Future of Western Literature

You all know I love literary fiction, so naturally this article in the Guardian caught my eye: “Nobel judge fears for the future of western literature.” Engdahl said that the “professionalisation” of the job of the writer, via grants and financial support, was having a negative effect on literature. “Even though I understand the temptation, […]

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Short Saturday: Literary TED

  I don’t know about you, but I’m a TED fan. TED, according to Wikipedia, is “a global set of conferences owned by the private nonprofit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan ‘Ideas Worth Spreading.’ TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event. … [Now] TED events are also held throughout North America and in […]

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The Androgynous Mind (Gender in Fiction 4/4)

When I started looking into the issues of gender—specifically women—in the publishing industry, I was blissfully serene about them. Which is to say, I thought we were past all that. I’m of the generation of women who can remember a time when Harriet Nelson and June Cleaver (pearls and a dress, mopping the floor!) were […]

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It’s Hard to Catch Up When You Start Out Behind (Gender in Fiction 3/4)

I’m still grappling with gender issues in fiction. You’ll have seen I hadn’t even thought about the fact that there was a gender divide until I discovered in a personal way that many men don’t read women authors … perhaps because of a perception that women authors write “women’s fiction,” which seems to mean different […]

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Women, Men, Readers, Me (Gender in Fiction 1/4)

I was exposed to the gender politics of reading when I first entered publishing; I worked in the kids’ division. “Girls will read stories about girls or boys,” my boss said. “Boys won’t read stories about girls.” Full stop. It’s a publishing truism. Oh. That’s interesting, but … wow. As a girl, I guess I’m […]

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