Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish during Women’s History Month represents for me a perfect synchronicity.
Paul Volponi shares how the photograph of a floating 1959 Buick inspired his new YA novel, Game Seven.
It would take a whole lotta stamps to send an elephant in the mail, so young Sadie opts for a more personalized touch in Special Delivery, the new picture book romp from Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell. Sadie and her pachydermic package try a plane, a train and even an alligator. As stamp collectors will recognize, the cover of Special Delivery is a nod to the famous Inverted Jenny stamp. Even more delightful are the book's end pages, which feature a great big pile of stamps, many of which seem to be inspired by classic children's literature. Cordell and Stead go behind their new book to share a bit more about the stamps in Special Delivery.
Before writing Kaufman’s Hill, it was my meditative essays that often veered toward the personal; my fiction was about stories I made up. Then in 1996, on a whim, I wrote a story about when I was seven, based on an image I had in my head for years—late afternoon, playing down at the creek with the Creely brothers who were often cruel to me, and one of them finds a dead rat.
For me, the first act of writing historical fiction is resistance. There are tropes within the American imagination that pop up readily; it takes a slapping of your own hand to not reach for these tropes and recycle them.
The 1991 murder of four teenage girls that inspired my novel, See How Small, has haunted me for 23 years. It struck a deep chord in anyone who lived in Austin, Texas, then—one that reverberates even now.
Priya Parmar is a former freelance editor whose first novel, Exit the Actress, was based on the 17th-century actress (and royal mistress) Ellen "Nell" Gwyn. Her second novel, Vanessa and Her Sister, is based on the life of the artist Vanessa Bell. In this behind-the-book essay, Parmar explains how important—and how personal—choosing a historical fiction subject can be.
In his latest novel, Bradford Morrow exposes the dark side of the rare-book world, where literary forgers create fake letters, signatures and manuscripts by famous authors. His richly detailed mystery opens with a grisly scene: A reclusive book collector is found in his studio with his head bashed in and his hands severed. Morrow, a professor of literature at Bard College, explains why he was drawn to this shadowy subject.
My nonfiction story, “The Messenger,” is one of 101 miraculous stories of faith, divine intervention and answered prayers selected from thousands of submissions to be included in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel book. Now, that’s a miracle! But it almost didn’t happen because I almost didn’t send my story in. One might suspect a lack of faith, but...
A chance discovery of an old biography at The Strand inspired journalist Alix Christie's debut novel, Gutenberg's Apprentice, which tells the story of the invention of moveable type and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible. In this essay, Christie explains how her lifelong love of letterpress printing left her uniquely suited to fictionalize this remarkable true story.