I first read To Kill a Mockingbird at fourteen, in school. It was one of those hardbacks made for classrooms, and I think it might have been orange. We would each read a few paragraphs aloud, and I would read on while waiting my turn. Whether my classmates loved Mockingbird as much as I did, I have no idea. Continue reading
William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris on January 25, 1874, the fourth of six children. His father was a lawyer for the British Embassy. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was eight, and when his father passed away two years later, Maugham was sent to live with his uncle in England. Continue reading
A Manual for Cleaning Women, A Year in Books, Alberto Moravia, Backlands, Before Marilyn, Bobbie Gentry, C. Joseph Greaves, Caryl Phillips, Cathi Unsworth, Clarice Lispector, David L. Jones, David Wills, Eileen, Elena Ferrante, Encyclopedia Madonnica 20, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fires in the Dark, Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee, Louise Doughty, Lucia Berlin, Madonna, Marilyn in the Flash, Marilyn Monroe, Matthew Rettenmund, Michelle Morgan, Ode to Billie Jo, Otessa Moshfegh, Rebecca Wait, Stewart O'Nan, Tara Murtha, The Followers, The Ipswich Witch, The Lost Child, The Story of the Lost Child, The Time of Indifference, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo), Victoria Shorr, West of Sunset, Without the Moon, Wuthering Heights
Reading Clarice Lispector for the first time is like falling in love. Each of her stories is a rare jewel. Shocking, funny and wildly imaginative, this collection is a landmark, reclaiming her as one of the underrated voices of the twentieth century.
The final volume in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series rages like a cyclone. No happy endings here, only the transcendence of real art.
Lucia Berlin was a wonderful American writer, whose stories are warm, yet unflinching. She led an eventful life, and while there are strong autobiographical elements in her work, she was also richly imaginative. Continue reading
Laini Giles was born in Austin, Texas and lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and three cats. An early devotion to Nancy Drew, and her discovery of Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon, spurred a lifelong interest in mysteries and scandals. She blogs about history, books and movies at Sepia Stories.
In her debut novel, Love Lies Bleeding (2013), a detective investigates the death of his great-aunt, a high society debutante torn between two lovers. Published on August 1, 2015, The Forgotten Flapper is based on the true story of one of Hollywood’s first stars, Olive Thomas. Continue reading