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Entertainment The Books Briefing: Short Stories to Read and Reread This Weekend

21:40  24 january  2020
21:40  24 january  2020 Source:   theatlantic.com

Legendary suspense novelist Mary Higgins Clark dies at 92

  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 very first issue—and thanks to our new fiction initiative, you’ll soon see short stories on our site on a more regular basis.

a living room with a book shelf filled with books © Alvaro Barrientos / AP

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'

  '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 the Books Briefing, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas.

What We’re Reading

a close up of rain © Provided by The Atlantic

Four friends, a reunion, and an unexpected reckoning

“The women were drinking peach schnapps, telling stories about the worst things they’d ever done.”

???? “Birdie,” by Lauren Groff

a man standing in front of a window © Provided by The Atlantic

Information passed across the border of death

“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 '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

a painting of a person © Provided by The Atlantic

(Yuko Shimizu)

Justice inside a notorious prison

“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

a person sitting on a bed © Provided by The Atlantic

Facing down the violence of faith

“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

a snow covered sidewalk © Provided by The Atlantic

A sniper’s story of love and death in Finland’s Winter War

“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 77 Knopf publishing giant Sonny Mehta dies at 77Mehta died Monday of complications from pneumonia, according to a Knopf spokesperson.

The Reference Desk

a chair in a room © Provided by Atlantic Media, Inc.

(New York Public Library)

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 be this one, from 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’s Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small series feature young women fighting to assert themselves in a Game of Thrones–like universe. Gail Carson Levine’s books are more whimsical but just as feminist, offering twists on traditional fairy tales. Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone 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

  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, Red Scarf Girl, 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 The Hate U Give 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, Turtles All the Way Down, follows a girl with severe anxiety, and Elizabeth Acevedo, whose novel in verse The Poet X is about a teen finding her voice through slam poetry.

Write to the Books Briefing team at booksbriefing@theatlantic.com or 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 There There, by Tommy Orange.

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