Category: Literary Fiction

10 Thought Provoking Quotes by Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, a literary genius, an advocate for feminists everywhere, a tormented, complicated soul, celebrates her would have been 138th birthday today. And on this special day, we want you to remember some of the remarkable sayings Woolf has blessed us with. So, here are 10 quotes by the prolific author, which makes us realize why she became such a profound figure worldwide.

1. On history

“Nothing has really happened until it has been described.”

image via bbc

 

2. on personal growth

“I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.”

image via the new yorker

 

3. on comedy

“Humor is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue.”

image via buboquote

 

 

4. On feminism

“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”

image via the new yorker

 

5. on fiction

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”

image via national portrait gallery

 

6. on aging

“The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.”

image via literary hub

 

 

7. on nature

“The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”

image via wikimedia

 

 

8. On diet

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

image via new statesman

 

9. on youth

“I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.”

image via moniq’s artyfacts

 

 

10. on being authentic

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

image via Blogging woolf

These quotes make it easy for us to realize the impact Virginia Woolf has had on culture, feminism, life and writing, and why her significance is as prevalent to this day.

featured image via granta

 

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Remembering George Orwell

As we remember the great author George Orwell on the day of his passing, we can’t help but marvel over his contribution not just as a writer of great artistic talent, but as an upstanding citizen of the world who wrote to the people and for the people, and stood up against The Man! So, here’s a list of facts about him that you may have not known, but definitely should!

1. man of many identities

image via writing as i please

That’s right, the George we know and love, was born as Eric Arthur Blair. And he was known as that until he was in Paris and had published his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, in 1933, channeling his alias George Orwell.

 

 

2. He was born in india

image via the guardian

Although Orwell is a British citizen, he was actually born in Motihari, Bihar, British India, which is now present day East Champaran, Bihar, India — who would’ve thought, right? You can see baby Orwell with his Indian nanny in the picture above.

 

3. he knew a real life muriel

image via whizzpast

George and his wife Eileen owned several farm animals at their home in Wallington, England, including Muriel the goat who shares the same name as the goat in Orwell’s Animal Farmhow adorable!

 

4. he had very smart teachers

image via intellectual takeout

While Orwell was attending a fancy prep school in England, he was taught French by the Brave New World author, Aldous Huxley! Talk about smart minds seeking out each other!

 

 

5. man of many words

image via london historians’ blog

Orwell wrote in a 1944 newspaper column, “In my life I have learned seven foreign languages, including two dead ones, and out of those seven I retain only one, and that not brilliantly.” While in school, he learned French from Aldous Huxley, who taught at Orwell’s boarding school, and ultimately became fluent in French, and eventually studied Latin, Greek, Spanish, and Burmese, to name a few!

 

6. HE contracted a deadly disease

image via wikipedia

From 1922 to 1927, Orwell lived in Burma, present day Myanmar, serving as a police officer with the Indian Police. But this ended due to his contracting dengue fever, which is spread through mosquitoes! Recovering from his illness, Orwell figured he’d spent enough of his life as a police officer and turned to a writing career instead — great thinking!

 

Not only was George Orwell a passionate and talented writer, he was also a person who strongly believed in and advocated for justice everywhere. These little facts about him also make us realize that he was also a very interesting man with a peculiar life. Although he may not be with us anymore, it’s safe to say that his work will continue to influence and impact the world for a very, very long time.

featured image via literary hub

 

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Salinger Fans Unite For NYPL Exclusive Exhibition!

Great news for Salinger fans, as the New York Public Library presents an extremely rare glimpse into the life and work of author J.D. Salinger with a rather extensive exhibition, giving insight into the famous author’s life.

 

image via the independent

 

The exhibit includes a number of manuscripts, letters, photographs, books, and personal items that have been exclusively extracted from Salinger’s personal archive, the J.D Salinger Literary Trust, now run by his son Matt Salinger. This will be the first time these items—on loan from the J.D. Salinger Literary Trust—have ever been shared with the public.

 

image via nytimes

 

The exhibition is organized by Matt Salinger and his wife Colleen Salinger, along with Declan Kiely, Director of Special Collections and Exhibitions at The New York Public Library.

 

 

The great news is, the exhibition is free! Coinciding with J.D. Salinger’s birthday, the exhibition will be on display until January 19, 2020 in the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

More than 200 items spanning Salinger’s life will be featured. This will include the original typescript of The Catcher in the Rye, revised by the author, along with the original typescripts of some of Salinger’s other shorter fiction work, including Franny and Zooey.

There is also an original pencil portrait by E. Michael Mitchell, who made the original cover design for The Catcher in the Rye, and a collection of family photographs from Salinger’s childhood, youth, and later life, including photos from his World War II service.

 

image via Smithsonian magazine

 

Some of the more personal items include; a bookcase from Salinger’s bedroom filled with books from his personal library, and items from Salinger’s childhood, including a bowl which he had made at summer camp when he was about 10 years old, notebooks, passports, honorable discharge papers from the army in which he identified his civilian occupation as “Playwright, Author, ” and personal artifacts such as his pipes, eyeglasses, wristwatch and the cup he drank coffee from every morning.

 

image via nypost

 

Among these items, his typewriter and his film projector, were also present.

 

image via the wall street journal

 

The exhibition also includes a description of J.D. Salinger’s life and profession written by Salinger himself, showcasing a rare glimpse into how the author viewed himself. The description was written as part of a 1982 legal document. The description reads, in part:

“I am a professional short-story writer and novelist. I write fiction and only fiction. For more than thirty years, I have lived and done my work in rural New Hampshire. I was married here and my two children were raised here. . . . I have been writing fiction rather passionately, singlemindedly, perhaps insatiably, since I was fifteen or so . . . I positively rejoice to imagine that, sooner or later, the finished product safely goes to the ideal private reader, alive or dead or yet unborn, male or female or possibly neither.” – J.D. Salinger

 

 

Please note, while the exhibition is free, there are no bags or cellphones allowed and of course no photographs. It’s absolutely worth the experience and the influence is staggering, to just be able to immerse yourself in a place where one of the most influential authors is put on display in all his glory.

featured image via afar

 


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For Keeps! – Atlanta’s Best Kept Literary Secret!

I haven’t been to Atlanta yet, but after coming across For Keeps!, I may be planning a visit soon! This quaint, little store located a few blocks from The Martin Luther King Jr Church, may seem unassuming from a distance, but it holds quite some significance.

 

image via new york times

 

Rosa Duffy, the 29 year-old artist and owner of For Keeps!, has run this store for rare and classic black books since 2018 and hopes to maintain it with enough effort and diligence so it can eventually become a neighborhood treasure. But regardless of what its future may look like, Duffy hopes to maintain the book store’s reputation as a rare place in her hometown that honors and preserves black history.

 

image via wabe 90.1 fm

 

Her picturesque store harbors not only hard-to-find and classic books by African and African American literary legends like Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Ralph Ellison, Octavia Butler and others, but also carries album covers, unique artifacts and even copies of the iconic black magazine, Jet. Some of the items here are from her personal collection, many of which were swiped from her family members, probably while they weren’t looking.

 

 

The aspect of opening a space dedicated solely to rare black books came to Duffy while she was a student at the New School in New York. As an avid dweller of the city’s bookstores, like Mercer Street Books and Records, the Strand, the Alabaster Bookshop and East Village Books, she eventually gathered up the courage to open her own sanctuary.

 

image via librarything

Duffy’s infectious enthusiasm about books is extremely admirable. Finding a rare book by one of her favorite artists, Carrie Mae Weems, made her ecstatic, as did a copy of Ceasar D. Coleman’s Beyond Blackness to Destiny, which was published in 1969.

 

 

She admits that initially there were concerns that mixing passion with business may cause issues, but has been pleasantly surprised because so far, it’s been fantastic! And when asked, why Atlanta, Duffy quickly replied, “Atlanta was the only place to do it. It’s home and I wanted it to represent the vastness of blackness and allow people to read about their history in a welcoming space.” — which is exactly why For Keeps! is for keeps!

Featured image via the Atlantic Voice

 


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Literary Icons We Lost in the Last Decade

The 2010’s have been a notable decade for literature lovers. Starting with big corporate bookstores going out of business and making room for the indie bookstores, we also saw the rise of audio-books, as well as platform being given to strong female protagonists with books like, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl , The Girl on the Train and so on. But in the past ten years we’ve also lost a number of prolific icons from the literary world and here are some of those authors and poets who have touched our lives with their iconic works, which will continue to influence us and the generations to come.

J D Salinger

Image Via Independent

We’ve all read his famous book in high school, The Catcher in the Rye, which is a fantastic piece of work tackling many pressing issues such as identity, loss, and sex. Salinger also exhibits relentless talent in his short stories, such as in A Perfect Day for Banana Fish. The writer lived until the long age of 91, and breathed his last on January 27, 2010.

 

 

Maurice Sendak

Image Via PBS

Even if you can’t immediately recognize this talented author by his name, I’m certain we are all familiar with his famous book, Where The Wild Things Are, which is a celebrated children’s picture book, teaching kids about imagination, independence and overcoming fear. The author/illustrator left us on the 8th of May in 2012.

 

V.s naipaul

Image Via BBC

Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize winner, V. S Naipaul left the world on 11th August, 2018. His book In a Free State won him the Booker Prize and he was also awarded the Trinity Cross in 1990, and was also made a Knight Bachelor in 1990.

 

 

maya angelou

Image Via Read it Forward

It was a tragic day when the world lost literary legend Maya Angelou. Not only was she a prolific, talented poet, singer and memoirist, she was also a famous civil rights activist, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Her book of poems, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie won the Pulitzer Prize and her autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing, garnered much critical acclaims and went on to be made into a TV movie with the same name in April 1979. Her departure was a great loss for the entire world, but her legacy will continue to live on within her works.

 

stan lee

Image Via Esquire

On November 12, 2018, we bid farewell to the creator of The Amazing Spider-man, X-Men and all the other Marvel heroes who continue to dominate our lives since we were children. This man’s legacy cannot be put in words, as movies after movies continue to wow us with the foundations Stan Lee had built during his long standing career. When he passed at the ripe age of 95, it was when we thanked our stars for being born during his era, to enjoy the fruits of his creativity.

 

 

william goldman

Image Via Consequence

This remarkable American novelist, playwright and screenwriter left us on November 16, 2018. By the end of his career, William Goldman had received his first Academy Award for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and another for All the President’s Men. He also won two Edgar Awards, and was eventually given the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement in 1985. But perhaps his most notable work is The Princess Bride, the popular fantasy-romance novel which came out in 1973, and was adapted into a movie of the same name in 1987.

 

 

fred bass

Image Via New York Post

While not everyone recognizes Fred Bass without a quick Google search, but be sure to know that this man has changed the lives of millions with his contribution to the book industry. Bass left us on January 3, 2018, but he made sure to leave the world a little more educated and tons more curious, with his creation of The Strand Bookstore in New York City. As one of the most popular bookstores in the world, with its eighteen miles of books, Strand has not just become a common household name for New Yorkers, but has won hearts of people all from over the world, all thanks to this kind and intelligent soul.

 

anthony bourdain

Image Via Robb Report

Although we mostly know Anthony Bourdain from his popular TV shows and his celebrity chef status, but we can’t forget that he first emerged as a writer in the late 90’s when his column came out in The New Yorker, Don’t Eat Before Reading This. This later resulted in Bourdain’s first book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, followed by his second, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, which was published in 2010. His demise was certainly a tragic one, leaving his fans in utter pain and disbelief, but his perception regarding the exploration of international cuisine, culture and human conditions has taught us all a few great things about not being scared of the unknown.

 

 

harper lee

Image Via ABC

To Kill a Mockingbird is an American Classic, and Harper Lee was a legend for the creation of such an impactful book during a time of turmoil and distress in the Americas. Her revolutionary vision, through the eyes of the young protagonist of her book, is evident and speaks volumes about her life as a child growing up during the Great Depression in the South, exploring topics such as regionalism as well as racism. The book has garnered her several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, as well as awarding her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, which was very well deserved. The world lost a power-house figure on February 19, 2016.

 

 

ursala k le guin

Image Via Syfy Wire

Ursala K Le Guin had written over twenty novels and one hundred short stories, spanning a literary career for almost sixty years before her passing on January 22, 2018. She had won eight Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards, making her one of the most influential Science Fiction writers of our time, and that too as a woman, considering that science has always been a supposed male dominated field. Legends like her give us hopes to break barriers and march on.

 

toni morrison

Image Via Newsday

The beloved Toni Morrison, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Beloved, left a gaping hole in the literary world as she left us on August 5, 2019. She gained further recognition as she won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She was also the first African American female editor at Random House in New York in the 1960’s. During her lifetime, she has inspired many people of all color to break free of stereotypes and to live their truth, whatever that may be. Her writing is so influential that her fan base continues to grow since her departure. Her writing has been critiqued by notable editors and writers alike and to this day, it is praised for its daring narrative. If there should be a legendary writer, Toni Morrison is deserving of that title.

 

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