Murder, Jane Austen and Facebook, Oh My!

A Polish author has been accused of murder because details of a killing in his novel closely resemble those in a real-life murder case.

— Look. I love Jane Austen. And I love her books because I get that they are about social issues and are not sweeping romances. Well that and because they are often funny as hell. This is why I wanted to stick a pen in my eye while watching the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice: it tried to over-romanticize the story and also managed to suck the humor out of it, and I then decided I was pretty much over Hollywood adaptations of Austen. So, it was with a sigh that I noticed that a somewhat-fictionalized Austen biopic was being released, and while watching trailers I’ve pretty much always thought something along the lines of “Oh dear.” Turns out I’m not the only one.

Mark Sarvas on novel revising.

The canon — or at least the dreaded high school summer reading list — is getting a more modern makeover. I don’t even want to know how someone justifies teaching a Dan Brown novel in school (note the last school on the list). That hurts my heart a little.

— Speaking of kids and reading: how to turn your kids into lifelong readers. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think reading for the sake of reading is a good thing, though I also think “frittering the time away on so-called social websites like MySpace or Facebook” isn’t horrible either. But then I guess I would think that, because I heart the internets. Sometimes.

— Did you know that it was Madame Bovary Month? Yeah, I didn’t either.

Amiri Baraka: still ruffling feathers. With discussion of his political/ideological/personal transformations and the way they shaped his writing, and some commentary on the fallout from his 9/11 poem “Somebody Blew Up America” it’s an interesting piece.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!