When new mom Katrina Alcorn went back to work full-time, she panicked that she was failing her baby. In her new book, 'Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink," she examines how mothers are internalizing the stress of the work-life balancing act.
The reality of being a full-time working mom was like diving into a cold pool. You can’t prepare for it. The exhilaration of that first week quickly gave way to a deep, numbing ache for the former days with my baby. Leisurely midday grocery-shopping trips were replaced by harried evening trips with a cranky baby in the cart. No more baby yoga, peaceful afternoons at the park, reading The New Yorker while Ruby napped on my chest, or walks around the lake with the moms from my birth class.
It's just such a ‘hard read.’
All copies of Ralph Ellison's National Book Award–winning novel Invisible Man will be removed from a North Carolina county's school libraries. The Randolph County Board of Education voted to ban the critically acclaimed 1952 book from its reading list. Invisible Man was named one of the top 100 English-language novels of the 20th century by Time magazine in 2010, but according to the parent whose complaint sparked the vote, "This book is filthier, too much for teenagers." The board's chair said he thought the novel was "a hard read," while another board member said he "didn't find any literary value" in it.
Cambridge professor Mary Beard thinks the classics have always been dying. Nick Romeo explores their many resurrections in a review of Beard’s latest book of essays on everything from Roman humor to Cleopatra.
“I’d give ten years of my life to know Greek,” Mrs. Dalloway says in Virginia Woolf’s first novel, The Voyage Out. She has just heard a Mr. Pepper recite the famous ‘Ode to Man’ chorus from Sophocles’ Antigone, and the beauty of the language entrances her. Mr. Pepper, however, lacks the passion he inspires. He’s one of a long line of priggish bibliophiles in English novels, from Cecil Vyse in E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View to the suffocating Mr.
He abducted young women as sex slaves and forced them to take drugs and watch porn. He raped his male guards, soldiers, and ministers. Annick Cojean talks about her new book on Gaddafi's cold-blooded sexual debauchery.
In 2011, French reporter Annick Cojean was in Libya reporting on the fall of Muammar Gaddafi and the country's tenacious revolution when she happened across a young woman with a terrible story to tell. Soraya (as Cojean calls her) had been a happy-go-lucky 15-year-old when Gaddafi noticed her on a visit to her school. Soon thereafter, three women took Soraya from her family and confined her as a sexual slave to satisfy the depraved dictator's whims.
In her first memoir, Delia Ephron talks bad hair days, her lack of religion, and losing her big sister Nora.
“I practice Ephron,” Delia Ephron told me when asked about her religion. We were chatting over lemonade near NYC’s Union Square, and although it was our first time meeting in person, through a series of connections and years of thinking about this moment, I felt as if we knew each other. Hailing from a family of serious literary types—most notably her sister, Nora Ephron—Delia Ephron has established herself as an author (How to Eat Like a Child), and screenwriter and producer in collaboration with her sister (You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle).
Random House to put out 13 titles in next few years.
Random House is launching a multi-year program to bring the Pulitzer Prize–winning author back into print, and to introduce the Armies of the Night and The Executioner’s Song novelist to a younger generation. Thirteen titles in Norman Mailer’s catalog were released as e-books on Tuesday, and the hard-to-find classics Tough Guys Don’t Dance and Ancient Evenings, both now available in digital form, will be released in new paperback editions in January 2014. Also on the way in 2014 are The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer and Mailer’s final two works written before his death in 2007, The Castle in the Forest and On God. Mind of an Outlaw, a new edition of Mailer’s essays with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem, will be available on October 15.
Postwar Germany’s “literary pope.”
Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Germany’s leading arbiter of literary taste and champion of many Jewish-German writers, died on Wednesday at age 93. Born in Poland, the Jewish Reich-Ranicki faced anti-Semitism throughout his adolescence in Berlin, culminating in his deportation to the Warsaw Ghetto in 1938. His parents were both sent to Treblinka. Self-educated—he was not allowed to attend German schools—Reich-Ranicki became a leading literary critic after moving to West Germany. The topic of much of his writing was his conflicted relationship with German culture. “The biggest anti-Semite in the history of German culture was Richard Wagner,” Mr. Reich-Ranicki once told an interviewer. “And the greatest opera I know is his Tristan and Isolde.”
The 2013 longlist includes some of America’s best-known novelists, including Thomas Pynchon and Jhumpa Lahiri, as well as the debut of Anthony Marra.
The National Book Foundation announced Thursday the 2013 National Book Award longlist for fiction, and among them are four National Book Award winners and finalists, a Pulitzer Prize winner and finalist, recipients of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and a Guggenheim fellowship, and a debut novelist. Longlists for the four categories of the National Book Awards were released for the first time in the prize’s history and announced exclusively on The Daily Beast this week.
Escaped from slavery in North Carolina.
The author of a novel believed to have been written by an African-American woman in the 1850s has been identified as Hannah Bond, who escaped slavery in North Carolina dressed as a man. Her novel, The Bondwoman's Narrative, was discovered and published in 2002, becoming a bestseller and earning praise for its detailed account of Southern plantation life. The author, who the manuscript identified as "Hannah Craft," was believed to be the first African-American female novelist. Now she is: Gregg Hecimovich, a professor of English at Winthrop University in South Carolina, says he identified Bond through wills, diaries, and public records. His findings, which he will detail in an upcoming book, also explain how a slave with little access to education could have been influenced by classics like Jane Eyre and Bleak House.
At the height of the Harlem Renaissance a group of white women played a controversial and important role in crossing the cultural color line. A new history tells their remarkable story with sensitivity and verve writes Wendy Smith.
When Etta Duryea, the white wife of black prizefighter Jack Johnson, killed herself in 1912, contemporary newspapers reported it as “the logical outcome for a ‘woman without a race.’” The boundaries were clear, the consequences of crossing the color line dire in the years before World War I, when American assumptions about everything from patriotism and class to gender and race were secure, bigoted, and unchallenged. But in the 1920s and ‘30s, a small but dauntless group of white women flung down a gauntlet to these assumptions, declaring their alliance with African-American culture during the height of the Harlem Renaissance.
The embattled chef is back after racist remarks nearly destroyed her career. But is a comic book the best route to reinvention? By Tricia Romano
Paula Deen recently found herself in some highly esteemed company when Bluewater Productions added her to its pantheon of feminists in the comic-book series Female Force. The Washington-based company released the comic Wednesday, a few months after the embattled chef was dropped by numerous sponsors after making racially insensitive remarks, and a few days after her return to the public eye.Deen might seem to be an unlikely choice, joining women as varied and celebrated as Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Sarah Palin.
The bestselling author, whose new novel is ‘The Longest Ride,’ talks about watching TV while he writes, and how his films have changed his novels.
NC: Where do you live and why? NS: I live in New Bern, North Carolina. I choose to live here because, to me, it feels like home. I’ve lived here for 20 years. I love the geography, the genuine kindness of the people, the small-town atmosphere. It’s been a wonderful place to raise my children. NC: Where’s the best barbecue in North Carolina? NS: Yeah, well it’s easy: the Eastern Carolina barbecue, with the vinegar and the red pepper on your pulled pork! Moore’s Barbecue, here in New Bern, is fabulous, one of the great old-time, smoked pulled-pork joints.
Nine of the 10 nominated authors for nonfiction are receiving the recognition for the first time.
The National Book Foundation announced Wednesday the 2013 National Book Awards longlist for nonfiction; nine of the 10 authors are receiving National Book Award recognition for the first time. They include historians, journalists, an arts critic, and a travel writer, and they have won the Bancroft Prize, the Lincoln Prize, the Beveridge Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The National Book Awards are running longlists for its four categories for the first time in the prize’s history, and they are being announced exclusively on The Daily Beast this week.
Often overlooked in histories of World War Two is China’s brutal experience. Several new books correct that record and show the different course that China might have taken, writes Jeffrey Wasserstrom.
It was June of 1938 when the leader gave a terrible order in a war that had already seen many horrors. He told one of his generals to blow up an important Yellow River dike, knowing this would “inundate central China, turning it into a vast expanse of water and mud.” The leader was aware that the ensuing flood would cost a vast number of Chinese farmers their lives (an estimated half-a-million died) and leave many more homeless (more than 3 million became refugees), but he was convinced that it needed to be done for strategic reasons.
Many famous authors’ personal book collections—Shakespeare, Fielding, Dickens—have been lost. Richard Oram, associate director of the Ransom Center, says we can learn a lot from these private libraries and looks at the case of writer Nancy Cunard.
Until recently, nobody cared much about authors’ personal libraries. Not a single fully authenticated volume belonging to Shakespeare has survived, although a handful from the libraries of his contemporaries Ben Jonson and John Donne are still with us. The usual fate of a writer’s library was sale by auction, or worse, a dump on the curbside or into a bonfire by indifferent heirs. As a result, the contents of the libraries of Henry Fielding, Charles Dickens, and William Makepeace Thackeray are known only because of auction catalogs.
The author of the new Texas novel ‘All the Land to Hold Us’ picks his favorites set in the Lone Star State.
1. Goodbye to a River by John Graves (Also anything else by John Graves.) A magnificent natural history of a place, a classic down-the-river narrative in which Graves and his dog float on a section of a river about to be buried by a dam. The book finished runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, second to Cry the Beloved Country. No one writes a sentence as beautiful and intelligent, as charming—that old-fashioned word—nor as elegant as Graves does.
As long as they have a children's section.
Bestselling author James Patterson announced on CBS This Morning that he will donate $1 million to independent bookstores over the next 12 months. Patterson, who was promoting his latest children’s book Treasure Hunters, plans to donate money to any “viable” independent bookseller; his only stipulation being that they have a children’s section.
The National Book Awards longlist for poetry features acknowledged masters like Frank Bidart and Lucie Brock-Broido; dynamic newcomers like Matt Rasmussen; and the long-awaited follow-up to Mary Szybist’s debut.
The National Book Foundation announced Tuesday the 2013 longlist for poetry, nominating acknowledged masters like Frank Bidart, Lucie Brock-Broido, and Brenda Hillman; dynamic newcomers like Matt Rasmussen, and the decade-in-the-making follow-up to Mary Szybist’s debut, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Granted. The National Book Awards is running longlists for its four categories for the first in the prize’s history, and they are being announced exclusively on The Daily Beast this week.
Report: Cohen to Write Ephron Bio
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