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Sherman Alexie

Who Says Size Matters?: Short Story Collections That Belong on Every Novel-Reader’s Shelf

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On the difference between short stories and novels, Stephen King described the former as “a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” His meaning? While they may lack the length of traditional novels, short stories certainly aren’t lacking in depth—just as a kiss carries its own special magic, without the commitment of a serious relationship. The collections below are testaments to the unique power of the short story. Individual snapshots of husbands and wives, sons and daughters, are connected by central themes—whether those be love, grief, hope, or loneliness. Together, they form a cohesive whole that portrays the ups and downs of the human experience, while packing the emotional punches you’d find in the best novels. A Model World, Michael…

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20 of the Best New York Times Notable Books

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Every December, the New York Times releases their annual “Notable Books” list, which celebrates the year’s greatest literary achievements. Studded with big names and remarkable first-time authors, it represents the cream-of-the-crop in literary talent, and serves as a touchstone for what—or whom—belongs in everyone’s TBR piles. Earlier this month, the Times announced their 2017 honorees. Among the 100 chosen were Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan and Naomi Alderman’s The Power—both of which echo the year’s biggest pop culture talking point, The Handmaid’s Tale. Recent award-winners also made the list: Lincoln in the Bardo (Man Booker Prize), Sing, Unburied, Sing (National Book Award, Fiction), and The Future is History (National Book Award, Nonfifction) all earned spots. At the same time,…

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2017 Goodreads Choice Awards: BookTrib’s Top Picks in Every Category

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The Goodreads Choice Awards are here once again, and we’re already knee-deep in the semifinal rounds. The books have been narrowed down to 20 choices in each category, and the competition is tougher than ever. Semifinals last until November 12th, with the final round of voting open from the 14th to the 27th. Winners will be announced December 5th. In the spirit of friendly competition, two of us are comparing our choices and arguing for our faves— Siskel & Ebert style! Here, BookTrib’s Senior Editor, Aisha K. Staggers, and Contributor, Rachel Carter, share a spirited debate over which books should win in each category: Fiction   Rachel: This one is easy! I’m voting for Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesym Ward.…

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13 Authors on Banning Books and Censorship

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BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. It’s Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the right to read. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week was a response to an increase in the number of books being challenged by groups and individuals. Here, we’ve rounded up the perspectives of thirteen authors—from Roxane Gay to Kurt Vonnegut—on challenged books, book banning, and censorship. “I don’t believe that books, even bad books, corrupt us. Instead, I believe books challenge and interrogate. They give us windows into the lives of others and give us mirrors so that we can better see ourselves. And ultimately, if you have a worldview that can be undone by a novel, let me submit that the problem is not…

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Sherman Alexie’s ‘Hymn’ Touches on Politics, Popular Culture and Pain

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BookTrib is partnering with Early Bird Books to bring you more great content, including this poem by Sherman Alexie, which addresses the current climate of injustice plaguing the United States.  “Hymn” Why do we measure people’s capacity To love by how well they love their progeny? That kind of love is easy. Encoded. Any lion can be devoted To its cubs. Any insect, be it prey Or predator, worships its own DNA. Like the wolf, elephant, bear, and bees, We humans are programmed to love what we conceive. That’s why it’s so shocking when a neighbor Drives his car into a pond and slaughter– Drowns his children. And that’s why we curse The mother who leaves her kids—her hearth— And never returns. That kind…

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Smart Reads: 3 Books for Banned Books Week

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We’re closing out Banned Books Week (September 27-October 3) by honoring three of the most challenged and banned books in 2014 as this week’s Smart Reads. Even though our right to read anything we like is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the American Constitution, there have always been members of the community who take exception to the content of certain books. Reasons for banning books have varied. Most frequently cited are offensive language, sexually explicit content, violence, controversial issues (a highly subjective term) and being unsuitable for its targeted age group. But as any book loving parent knows, much of this depends on the individual reader. And what budding adolescent hasn’t read a forbidden adult novel under the covers…

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