Entertainment The Books Briefing: Short Stories to Read and Reread This Weekend
Legendary suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark dies at 92
Legendary suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark dies at 92Over the course of her long career, Clark penned 38 suspense novels, including Where Are the Children? and A Stranger Is Watching, both of which were adapted into feature films. She also wrote four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books; co-authored five more suspense novels with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark; and wrote five additional novels with Alafair Burke.
In recent years, The Atlantic’s publication of short stories has only been occasional. But the magazine has harbored a love of literature since its—and thanks to , you’ll soon see short stories on our site on a more regular basis.
To that end, we’re starting with Lauren Groff’s new story, “Birdie,” in which a visit to a friend’s deathbed prompts a woman to reconsider a formative period in her life. Other stories from our archives also feature ways of reframing and retelling the past.
The narrator of Walter Mosley’s “Reply to a Dead Man” gets a message from his deceased brother that leads him to see his own life in a completely different way. In “Wolves of Karelia,” Arna Bontemps Hemenway imagines the memories of a real sniper from Finnish history—including scenes the man would prefer to forget.
'Fight Club' author Chuck Palahniuk takes readers to writing school in new book 'Consider This'
Getting an MFA in creative writing is expensive. Chuck Palahniuk offers an alternative in his new book of writing advice, "Consider This.""It costs a fortune to get a MFA degree in creative writing, and there are people who don't have that money and don't have that time and don't live anywhere close to a school that has a program like that," the author explains to USA TODAY.
In E. C. Osondu’s “A Simple Case,” a man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit attempts to talk his way out of jail. And in Louise Erdrich’s “Saint Marie,” a teen girl treks uphill to a convent on a quest that she sees as part vengeance, part salvation.
Every Friday in, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas.
What We’re Reading
“The women were drinking peach schnapps, telling stories about the worst things they’d ever done.”
???? “Birdie,” by Lauren Groff
“My heart started beating rapidly a minute or two after the third time I read the letter. I could have sat there and guessed for a hundred years and never come up with what Seth had to say.”
Isabel Allende's 'A Long Petal of the Sea' gets to the heart of immigrant struggle
Isabel Allende's new love story, "A Long Petal of the Sea," humanizes the immigrant struggle.The book opens in 1938. Victor Dalmau, a young medic caring for the wounded during the Spanish Civil War, restores the beating heart of a young soldier with the caress of his fingers. Victor joined the Republican Army in 1936, along with his brother Guillem, while still in medical school. The war, often historically overshadowed by World War II, which quickly followed it, is a brutal precursor of the horrors to come.
???? “Reply to a Dead Man,” by Walter Mosley
“Paiko cleared his throat and spoke for the first time. He was listening to his own voice as the words came out, almost as if the words were not his. His mouth felt like an instrument that was separate from the rest of him.”
???? “A Simple Case,” by E. C. Osondu
“Sister Leopolda … always said the Dark One wanted me most of all, and I believed this. I stood out. Evil was a common thing I trusted.”
???? “Saint Marie,” by Louise Erdrich
“To make a perfect shot, you have to know every bit of the woods around you. You have to disappear into the air, to become the weight of the hard rime making the trees into statues.”
???? “Wolves of Karelia,” by Arna Bontemps Hemenway
Knopf publishing giant Sonny Mehta dies at 77
Knopf publishing giant Sonny Mehta dies at 77Mehta died Monday of complications from pneumonia, according to a Knopf spokesperson.
The Reference Desk
This week’s question comes from Kris: “My co-worker and I are ... looking for a decent list of books for her 12- and 14-year-old daughters to read. I swear I saw a superb list of recommendations from The Atlantic a few months ago for exactly this age group, but I cannot find it ... did I imagine this?”
The list you’re remembering might befrom a Books Briefing last April. While it’s aimed at a 16-year-old, it includes several books that slightly younger readers might enjoy, as well as some titles that your co-worker’s daughters can grow into.
But why stop at one list? If the girls enjoy fantasy, Tamora Pierce’sand series feature young women fighting to assert themselves in a Game of Thrones–like universe. books are more whimsical but just as feminist, offering twists on traditional fairy tales. Tomi Adeyemi’s begins a trilogy inspired by West African mythology and that resonates with contemporary politics; the most recent volume came out just last month.
Authors Stephen King, Don Winslow promise over $200K to charity if White House holds press briefing
Don Winslow and Stephen King, both best-selling authors who have been outspoken in their criticism of the Trump administration, have promised to donate over $200,000 to charity if White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham holds a press briefing this week. Winslow, the writer behind best-selling novels like "The Force," first made the offer over Twitter on Wednesday. "Dear @PressSec, It has been 301 days since The White House held a press briefing," Winslow wrote in a tweet addressed to Grisham."I will donate $75,000 to St.
If realism is more their style,, by Ji-li Jiang, is a memoir of China’s Cultural Revolution that begins when the author is 12 years old. For the older sister, Angie Thomas’s reflects on gun violence and police brutality through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl. You can find quieter day-to-day dramas in the work of John Green, whose most recent book, , follows a girl with severe anxiety, and , whose novel in verse The Poet X is about a teen finding her voice through slam poetry.
Write to the Books Briefing team ator reply directly to this email with any of your reading-related dilemmas. We might feature one of your questions in a future edition of the Books Briefing and offer a few books or related Atlantic pieces that might help you out.
About us: This week’s newsletter is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. The book on her favorite armchair right now is, by Tommy Orange.
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Recommended Reading: The internet sleuths who caught the Astros cheating .
How the internet helped crack the Astros' sign-stealing case Joon Lee, ESPN One of the biggest sports stories of the year has already broke, and it's barely mid-January. If you haven't heard, Major League Baseball determined the Houston Astros used various methods, including video feeds, to steal signs from the opposition during the team's 2017 championship season -- including the World Series. MLB found that it continued to do so during the 2018 season, too. So far, three managers have lost their jobs due to their involvement.
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