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Five Interesting Facts About Sinclair Lewis

By Neely Simpson. Feb 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

American author and Nobel laureate, Sinclair Lewis, was born in 1885 in the small Minnesota town of Sauk Centre. He was the youngest son of the town doctor. Unlike his two older brothers, he was awkward, gangly, sensitive and bad at sports. He also had very bad acne and was teased mercilessly for his looks. His was a lonely childhood. However, he showed an early aptitude for writing and found an escape in journaling and books. He left Sauk Centre at the age of seventeen to attend Oberlin Academy (Oberlin College) for a year. After his year at Oberlin, he was accepted to Yale where he was a contributor to and editor for the Yale Literary Magazine. Over the course of his career, he authored twenty-three novels, numerous short stories, articles, plays and poetry. Here are five interesting facts about one of America's first great satirists.

     
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The Six Wives of Norman Mailer

By Neely Simpson. Jan 31, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

"Notorious philanderer," "egomaniac," "pugnacious" and "pompous" are a few of the milder epitaphs that have been used to describe controversial and larger-than-life Norman Mailer. His New York Times obituary was even titled, "Norman Mailer, Towering Writer With Matching Ego, Dies at 84." Known in the literary world as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Mailer won two Pulitzer Prizes in literature and one National Book Award. He is credited with having pioneered creative nonfiction as a genre, also called New Journalism. During his life he became as famous for his relationships with women as he did for his literary work. He was married six times and fathered eight children. Here is a brief look at the six wives of Norman Mailer.

     
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Susan Sontag: Controversial Cultural Critic

By Carrie Scott. Jan 28, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

“Words alter, words add, words subtract.”

Susan Sontag: philosopher, literary critic, academic, political commentator, humanist, essayist, novelist, celebrity, diva, activist, zeitgeist; there is no one label in her repertoire that she didn’t engender a polarizing opinion on. With her trademark hair boasting an austere white stripe, Sontag shot to celebrity status in the 1960s, when she not only branded herself physically, but also made sure to be seen at shows, launches and Hollywood parties, laying the framework for a diva's reputation for haughtiness and mercurial behavior. She was observed berating any clerk or waiter who didn’t treat her with proper deference and imperious reverence. She was either venerated or villainized, either as a counter-cultural hero or a posturing pop celebrity. Never one for people pleasing, Sontag voiced her opinion on culturally controversial issues. 

     
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Top Books by State: Idaho

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 13, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary road trip by taking a closer look at some of the best books from the state of Idaho. This Pacific Northwest state is known for its impressive, mountainous beauty and its sweeping forests. In fact, approximately 38% of the state is actually owned and preserved by the United States Forest Service. Idaho is unique in that it shares natural characteristics with both the Pacific Northwest and geological features more associated with the American West. This beautiful state is known for its national park tourism, agriculture, mining, and rich Native American cultures. The books we're looking at today focus in on Idaho's incredible vistas. Come travel the Gem State as we continue with the next stop in our Top Books by State series:

     
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Ten Interesting Facts About Jack London

By Neely Simpson. Jan 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

Jack London's characteristically raw, edgy writing influenced and inspired such literary giants as Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, George Orwell and Upton Sinclair. He was also one of the first writers to gain fame and wealth from his fiction. However, London's short life was one marked by poverty and struggle from beginning to end. Here are 10 interesting facts about this often abrasive American author:

     
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Top Books by State: Hawaii

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary journey through the United State with our Top Books by State series. The next stop: Hawaii. Hawaii is one of very few states to have been a sovereign nation before statehood. While the U.S. had acknowledged Hawaii as an independent nation and had established treaties, the U.S. and European businessmen organized a coup to overthrow the Kamehameha monarchy. The U.S. government supported the coup, stating that military demonstrations in Hawaii and the queen's new constitution expanding her personal power were a threat to U.S. citizens; however, control of the sugar trade was a primary motivation. Hawaii existed as a republic until its incorporation into the United States in 1959. Since then, Hawaii has become a major tourist destination, sporting some of the most beautiful lands in the world. Home to many plants and animals unique to the islands, Hawaii is an important natural habitat and one ever changing and at risk from volcanoes and tourism-related expansions.

     
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James Thurber's Life and Work

By Shelley Kelber. Dec 8, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

James Thurber became one of the most popular humorists of his time by shining a comedic light on the everyday man and his daily, mundane frustrations and idiosyncrasies. In his work, Thurber often asked his audience to consider how their minds shaped their view of reality.

     
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Anne Rice, Grand Dame of Gothic Fiction

Born October 4, 1941, Anne Rice shows no signs of slowing down. Perhaps best known for The Vampire Chronicles series, Rice has written gothic fiction, Christian novels, and even erotica.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Golden Age by Gore Vidal

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 3, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

American novelist Gore Vidal is widely known for his witty, irreverent writing. His Narratives of Empire series contains seven historical fictions that explore the growth of America from her birth to taking her place as one of the great empires of history.

     
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Ten Inspiring Quotes From The Great Gatsby

By Abigail Bekx. Sep 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

First published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book and is widely considered the paragon of his career. Its exploration of the lavish wealthy lifestyle of the 1920s causes it to be hailed as the archetypal Jazz Age novel. The reasons behind Gatsby’s place among the greatest twentieth-century classics can be seen in Fitzgerald’s masterful word crafting.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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