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Articles from the Blog

Words Wednesday: Yaa Gyasi

Contemporary LiteratureQuotesWords Wednesday
Yaa Gyasi quote graphic, from Homegoing

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi This quote comes from Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel Homegoing. Published 2016 to critical acclaim, Homegoing follows the lives of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi. Unknown to each other, the two sisters fall into divergent lives: one marries a European slaver, and one is captured and made a slave. The story bounces between the descendants of these two half-sisters, from the slave trade in Africa to the coal mines in Alabama and the NAACP. Each chapter follows a new character to give a detailed family history over nearly 250 years. Some characters are more complex and interesting […]

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Our Year in Review

Announcements
2016 year in review for Books on the Wall

We can hardly believe that’s been about a year since we redesigned the Books on the Wall website. In the last year, we’ve been working hard to bring new texts and new poster designs to the Books on the Wall inventory. To celebrate our successes and look forward, we wanted to share our recap of the year with you. Without our loyal readers and customers, none of this would be possible. Thanks for keeping in touch, giving us feedback, and sharing our love for all things literary! Our new full-text book posters We’ve made a BUNCH of new full-text book posters, […]

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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

AuthorsGenresNovel Knowledge
100 Years of Solitude blog post image

A few weeks ago, we shared a blog post about the history of magical realism. Today we’re taking a deeper look at perhaps the greatest and most beloved of all magical realism novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad) by Colombian author Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez. The classic example of magical realism Although many critics may have trouble defining what exactly a magical realist novel is, their prime example will always be Marquez’s beloved One Hundred Years of Solitude. A long and dense work, One Hundred Years of Solitude can be a bit confusing for first-time readers, especially those not […]

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Happy Holidays!

Announcements
Happy holiday image from Books on the Wall

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, full of good books and great friends. Happy holidays from Books on the Wall!

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The Ages of 101 Famous Writers at First Publication

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Famous writers ages infographic featured image

If you’re anything like us, you constantly think about the lives of some of the world’s most famous writers. How did they get started with writing? And when? Looking back on a a now-famous author’s life work, I always catch myself thinking, “That author was a genius! I’m sure she had no problem getting work published.” Or, “Yeah, it must have been super easy for him; he’s obviously talented.” In reality, though, even the most popular authors often struggle for a long time before finally getting published. Many published authors have a family or a day job (or both) and don’t even really […]

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Words Wednesday: Ursula Le Guin

Contemporary LiteratureQuotesWords Wednesday
Ursula Le Guin quote graphic - The Dispossessed

This Ursula Le Guin quote comes from The Dispossessed: An Ambigious Utopia. The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin Published in 1974, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (frequently called just The Dispossessed) is an allegorical tale set in a dystopian future. Set in the same world as her earlier work The Left Hand of Darkness, this novel covers themes like capitalism, anarchy, freedom, and individualism. Upon publication, The Dispossessed won a handful of prestigious science fiction awards: Nebula Award for Best Novel (1974) Hugo Award (1975) Locus Award (1975) Nominee for John W. Campbell Memorial Award (1975) In fact, Le Guin is […]

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Words Wednesday: Ernest Hemingway

Classic LiteratureQuotesWords Wednesday
Ernest Hemingway quote graphic - quote from The Old Man and the Sea

This Ernest Hemingway quote comes from his acclaimed short novel The Old Man and the Sea. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway Written in 1951 during a stay in the Bahamas, The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of an aging fisherman named Santiago and his quest to break his unlucky fishing streak by catching a large marlin. Santiago fights delirium and sharks in his attempt to wrangle the large marlin and bring it home. The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953. One year later, Hemingway was awarded the […]

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What is Magical Realism in Literature?

GenresNovel Knowledge
Magical Realism in Literature blog post graphic

Today we’re exploring magical realism, one of the most interesting literary movements in recent history. A brief history of magical realism The 20th century was a century of “-isms” in the West. Never before had there been so many dynamic philosophical, aesthetic, political, sociological, and psychological schools of thought: from Freudianism to Keynesianism to Cubism. One of the famous literary “-isms” to arise in this time, especially in Latin America, was called magical realism. In contrast to pure fantasy, magical realism in literature sought to re-invigorate the ordinary with the sublime. Magical realism novels do not contain the elves and wizards of a […]

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10 Native American Writers You Should Be Reading

AuthorsContemporary Literature
10 Contemporary Native American Authors blog post title graphic

When most people think of Native American writing, their minds may be flooded with images from the colorful mythos that flourished all around North America before Columbus’s arrival. Archeologists and historians are still learning a great deal about these ancient Native American poets and their powerful works of spiritual literature. Unfortunately, far too many people think only of the past when they consider Native American writing, traditions, and culture. In reality, there are many contemporary Native American writers today who are powerful witnesses to and voices of the Native American experience in the 20th and 21st centuries. These diverse writers, poets, […]

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