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The Life and Work of Alice Munro, “Canada’s Chekhov”

AuthorsContemporary Literature

Although Alice Munro is undoubtedly one of Canada’s most decorated authors, she’s still relatively unknown outside of her native land. Literary critics have differing opinions as to why Munro’s superb short story collections only become best sellers in the Great White North. Some believe Munro’s relative unpopularity has to do with her medium of choice: the short story. Others believe it’s harder for non-Canadian readers to relate to the Canadian settings of Munro’s tales. Whatever the reason may be, fans as prominent as Jonathan Franzen are desperately trying to convince more people to dive into the work of Alice Munro. If you’re […]

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Five of the World’s Most Prolific Authors

Authors

Higher quantity doesn’t always translate to higher quality…but a huge body of work is still pretty impressive! The task of composing a coherent plot or poem, let alone adding higher aesthetics to the work, requires a great deal of dedication. There are a few rarely prolific authors who’ve been able to both produce boatloads of texts that are both critically and commercially successful. In the list below, we’ll take a look at five insanely prolific authors that have left an indelible mark on the history of literature. Five Prolific Authors You Need to Check Out Isaac Asimov Russian-born author Isaac Asimov is […]

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The Work of Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “Composed Purely and Wholly of the Stuff of the Soul”

AuthorsClassic Literature

Even in English translation, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s works pulse with the terror and ecstasy of the human soul. But don’t take our word for it. In her essay on Russian literature, British author Virginia Woolf wrote this: “The novels of Dostoevsky are seething whirlpools, gyrating sandstorms, waterspouts which hiss and boil and suck us in.” She went on to say that the only author more powerful than Fyodor Dostoyevsky was Shakespeare. While some authors (most notably Vladimir Nabokov) can’t stand Dostoyevsky’s frenzied style of composition, no one can deny his immense influence on 20th and 21st century art and […]

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From Confucius to the Communists: Five of the Best Chinese Writers

AuthorsClassic LiteratureContemporary Literature

No other civilization in the world has endured as long as the Chinese. Despite wars, famines, revolutions, and imperialism, the Chinese have been able to retain their language and cultural heritage for some 5,000 years. With China’s rapid economic development in the 21st century, it’s clear that this nation will be a major player in global politics for the years to come. And one of the best ways for outsiders to dip into the mind of the Middle Kingdom is to take a look at the nation’s best writers. Of course, it’d take a few pretty thick books just to […]

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The King of the Jazz Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Life and Times

AuthorsContemporary Literature

Just like Mark Twain before him, F. Scott Fitzgerald both literally and symbolically defined an age in American history. While Twain coined “The Gilded Age” to describe late 19th-century America, Fitzgerald popularized “The Jazz Age” for the 1920s. Although Fitzgerald’s name is inextricably linked to that era of bootleggers, speakeasies, and flappers, his fiction is so much more than a historical relic. The lyricism of Fitzgerald’s prose and the profound themes his works explore have earned him a spot alongside greats like Henry James, Faulkner, and Hemingway. To get a better understanding of the man behind the greatest “Jazz Age” […]

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Five of the Most Influential German Authors [Infographic]

AuthorsInfographicNovel Knowledge

Germany has produced some of the finest artistic and intellectual minds in the Western world, from Beethoven and Bach to Einstein and Kant. Perhaps there’s no better way for non-Germans to understand the German psyche than to read some of the finest books by the greatest German authors. Who are these authors, you may ask? Although there are hundreds of awe-inspiring artists to read from the canon of German literature, today we’ll take a look at five of the greatest German authors. Get a sneak peek by checking out our infographic, or scroll down below the infographic for full details […]

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Five of the Best French Authors

AuthorsClassic LiteratureContemporary LiteratureNovel Knowledge

From the Medieval poem La Chanson de Roland to the modern day author Michel Houellebecq, French authors have produced some of the most daring and influential works of European literature. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Indeed, France still holds the world record for the most Nobel Prizes for Literature! Not only does France produce great artistic minds, it attracts them too. As you probably know already, many of America’s finest authors “found their voice” in a Parisian café (e.g. Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, Ezra Pound, and more). In this list, we’ll take a look at five of the best […]

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Henry David Thoreau: America’s Favorite Rebel

AuthorsClassic LiteratureGenres
Henry David Thoreau blog feature image

The 19th century was a special time in American literature. Sometimes referred to as the American Renaissance, this era produced some of the finest American authors ever, including: Walt Whitman Herman Melville Emily Dickinson Edgar Allan Poe Nathanial Hawthorne One name that inescapably makes its way onto the lists of American canonical writers from this period is Henry David Thoreau. Famous for both his interesting lifestyle and his contemplative essays, Thoreau was a major critic of progress and technology and a strong supporter of individuality, political activism, and the natural world. In this article, we’ll explore why this Concord bachelor […]

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Virginia Woolf: England’s Modernist Master

AuthorsClassic LiteratureNovel Knowledge
Virginia Woolf blog feature image

Along with James Joyce and William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf is considered one of the undisputed masters of “stream of consciousness” writing. Born in England in 1882, Woolf’s legacy far outlasted her short life, and her immense oeuvre continues to inspire artists, especially female writers, around the world. Photograph of Virginia Woolf, via Wikimedia Commons All of the greatest Virginia Woolf novels challenge how we think about the nature of human perception with their experimental prose and non-linear plots. Her work has also exerted and immense influence on feminist critics and historians who’ve worked hard to uncover an unbiased history of women in the Western […]

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