Unless you've been living under a rock (not that there's anything wrong with that), you've already heard that Canadian short story writer Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize in Literature, not too long after announcing that she was retiring from writing. Rather than admit that you haven't read her work (and why haven't you?), you can address that criminal deficiency by first reading five stories recommended by Slate reviewer Lowen Liu, to address that deficiency, or any of these seventeen stories available online. Learn more about Munro in her own words from this Paris Review interview.
Among the finalists announced today in the National Book Awards fiction category are Thomas Pynchon for Bleeding Edge, George Saunders for Tenth of December, and Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland. A full list of finalists in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and young people's literature is posted at the National Book Foundation's site. More importantly, you'll find links to a free e-book featuring excerpts from the finalists' books.
Finally, New Zealand writer Eleanor Catton makes the rest of us look like total slackers after winning the Man Booker Award for The Luminaries. Catton is not only the youngest author in the award's history, but her novel is the longest winner at 832 pages. "Speaking after the result was announced, she said her publishers had been thrilled that the final manuscript was just short enough 'not to collapse under its own weight in paperback,' " The Telegraph reported. Here's an excerpt of her novel, which has been described as a historical murder mystery and the "Kiwi Twin Peaks." Catton is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, so yay for MFAs.
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Useful And/Or Interesting Links
Department of Creative Writing and Literary Arts
University of Alaska Anchorage
UAA Graduate School
Alaskan Writers Directory
Advice for Writers
I May Be Some Time
Ten Words You Need
to Stop Misspelling
The American Scholar
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