Like the author of our first link, Pamela Erens, I’m drawn to depressing books. The darker the better. I can tolerate a happily ever after story, but only after the characters have suffered great trauma to get to the rainbows on the other side. I don’t come away from a so-called depressing book a more depressed human being. As Pamela eloquently conveys, “Depressing, in my experience, is often moving and beautiful. It is sometimes even oddly hopeful: a truth-telling that gets me through the night.”
- Pamela Erens delves into the appeal of ‘depressing’ books.
- On the subject of depression, Elisa Gabbert answers a reader question: “How Do You Know If Your Writing Is Any Good?” Oh, the agony that unites writers.
- Over at the Bitter Southerner, independent-bookstore owners from around the South “assembled two lists: 10 works each of fiction and nonfiction, and each in its own way deepens our understanding of the weird region that formed us.”
- The Atlantic takes readers Where Books Are All But Nonexistent. In many high-poverty urban neighborhoods, it’s nearly impossible for a poor child to find something to read in the summer.
- Melissa Lenhardt discusses how historical fiction does what history textbooks does not. “There are millions of women and marginalized people who have been forgotten, people who managed to carve out one little moment of achievement or significance in their life. Should they be relegated to the waste bin of history because they weren’t deemed noteworthy?… Luckily, we have fiction to fill the void.”