Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘nonfiction’

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2013 State of the Book Presenter: Anne-Marie Oomen

Editor’s Note: For the past two weeks we’ve been posting micro-portraits and/or interesting news about this year’s 2013 presenters at The State of the Book Literary Symposium, which will take place in Ann Arbor TOMORROW, September 28, in Rackham Auditorium. All events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule or list of presenters, please check out the State of the Book Website. Thank you! Anne-Marie Oomen is the author of two memoirs, Pulling Down the Barn and House of Fields, both Michigan Notable Books; An American Map: Essays  (Wayne State University Press); and a full-length collection of […]


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First Looks, March 2013: Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table

Hello again, FWR friends. Welcome to the latest installment of “First Looks,” which highlights soon-to-be released books that have piqued our interest as readers-who-write. We publish “First Looks” here on the FWR blog around the 15th of each month, and as always, we’d love to hear your comments and your recommendations of forthcoming titles. So please drop us a line with buzz-worthy titles you’re anticipating: editors(at)fictionwritersreview(dot)com. Thanks in advance! Though fiction is our primary focus on this site, from time to time a book of poetry or nonfiction or criticism crosses our path that necessitates some recognition. (Besides, we’re all […]


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Journal of the Week: Lapham's Quarterly

Our latest Journal of the Week, Lapham’s Quarterly, is a true curator of culture. By juxtaposing the old and the new, Carolyn Gan says in this profile, it’s the “literary equivalent of a really good mix tape, where obscure songs of various styles come together to tell you something more about the music.”


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Researching the details in fiction

Mary Roach is my favorite nonfiction writer—partly because she’s wickedly funny, and partly because we share the same fascinated appreciation for the absurd. I’ve been a huge fan since her first book, Stiff, which is about the various uses of human cadavers. In it and all her other books (Spook, about science and the afterlife; Bonk, about science and sex; and Packing For Mars, about manned space exploration), Roach unearths details that are just too crazy to make up—such as the fact that a dead pope is struck on the forehead with a special hammer to be sure he’s really […]


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…and when reality becomes fiction

On the flip side of our earlier post on fiction becoming reality, reality is apparently becoming fiction just as fast. Classic pregnancy handbook What to Expect When You’re Expecting will soon be adapted into—yup, you guessed it—a romantic comedy. Entertainment Weekly reports: Jon-HammLionsgate has confirmed that they will adapt the bestselling pregnancy bible What To Expect When You’re Expecting and intend to give it the Love Actually and Valentine’s Day treatment. In other words, we’ll see a series of intertwining vingnettes with enough star wattage to blind most any moviegoer. For those of you looking to spin the straw of […]


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[reviewlet rewind] A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel

Reviewlets give FWR contributors the chance to recommend books of all genres that other fiction writers might enjoy. Reviewlet Rewinds (like this one) highlight books published more than two years ago, and Reviewlet Classics refer to books published more than twenty years ago. You know that moment in life when you realize that stories of the things that loomed large in childhood — your terror of the woman who lives next door or your absolute certainty that some of the playing cards in a deck are female and some, male — can be condensed, as if through a trash compactor, […]


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Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms, by Ethan Gilsdorf

Ethan Gilsdorf, a former Dungeons and Dragons addict and seasoned pop-culture and travel journalist, chronicles his international odyssey through the worlds of Harry Potter bands, medieval reenactment societies, World of Warcraft guilds, and massive fantasy conventions, to name only a few. In the process he learns to come to terms with his own attachment to the imaginary that has persisted into his forties. As a dedicated fairytale and myth fanatic myself, my curiosity was piqued by the title of the book which is at once a memoir, an insider’s guide to the world of gaming, and a quest that takes him all around the world to find answers not only to his own life, but to the larger question of why tens of millions of people turn away from reality and fully embrace fantastical other-existences.


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"Restoring" A Moveable Feast

Scribner caused a stir earlier this year by announcing it would publish a “restored” edition of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. Why? Because the original edition was edited after the author’s death by Hemingway’s fourth wife and literary executor, Mary, who reordered parts of Hemingway’s unfinished manuscript and included parts he had wished to exclude–including a chapter that that portrays his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, in a negative light. Scribner claims the new edition is what Heminway actually intended: Since Hemingway’s personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now, […]




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