Friday Linkapalooza

I’m loving how many cool links people send me during the week – it makes my Friday blog posting so much easier.

  • A cool photo story from The New York Times, in which people all over the world are photographed with all the food they will eat on a given day. An interesting look at what people eat (and how much) based on their location and occupation.
  • A new print magazine from McSweeney’s, dedicated to comfort food and innovations in food journalism:  Lucky Peach Magazine.
  • V.S. Nipaul has pissed off more than a few people by positing that he can identify women writers just by reading their work – you know, probably because of all the flowers and clothes and high heels and all that predictable “feminine tosh.” Take the quiz:  can you pick which writer has a uterus?
  • The Bygone Bureau has advice for book reviewers to shake up the language they use in reviews. I’ve all too often seen Southern books (even some I’ve reviewed) termed as tattered, torn, but heartful. Those descriptions bother me because they tend to suggest that all stories set in the South will have a likeness to laundry that’s been dried outside on the line too many times, frayed and faded. Or a rusty tractor amid tall grass. Or bare feet, broken fences, beaten biscuits in imperfect mounds on a chipped old plate. Drive through the South, and you’ll see farmland and country, sure, but you’ll also see city centers – Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham. High-end retail stores, highly-rated restaurants – shiny, new, and a far cry from tattered. So yes, I’d like to see some cliches shaken up.
  • Students of creative writing (particularly those from the ODU MFA program who studied with Janet Peery) will appreciate a continued look at the “elongated yellow fruit syndrome” and the many examples of other descriptive foibles.
  • I’ve been slow to start following the Rumpus column “Where I Write,” but each time I read it, I find I like it. It would be easy to fall into the trap of “wow, these people write so much and are so focused, and I don’t write as much as they do, and I’m clearly not as disciplined, so I suck.” But I can’t. They’re different – and maybe the geographical focus, where one writes, makes the difference. This week’s installment manages to show a woman who writes no matter where she is (she focuses on her time in hospitals) but who also understands that writing in hospitals isn’t incidental – it’s essential to what she writes about, to the communication of pain and life and death.

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