Lara Southern
Latest Articles

10 Writers on the Beauty of Spring

No, your eyes don’t deceive you — that’s actually sunshine outside. Though one would assume that the dark and dreary months of winter would serve as ideal inspiration for typically tortured, it seems that even the moodiest of the great writers (ahem.…
By Lara Southern

7 Gloria Steinem Articles Every Woman Should Read

Gloria Steinem, the unequivocal champion of gender equality through the past half century, turns 80 years old today. And, as expected, she's looking mighty fine doing it too (that hair!). From journalist to activist, Gloria has been at the forefront …
By Lara Southern

Yes! Food and Fiction in 'That Part Was True'

How often do you write letters? I mean, actually sit down with pen and paper and write to someone, in full sentences? Even before stamping and mailing the damn thing it seems like more effort than it’s worth. There is no denying, however, the thrill …
By Lara Southern

'Silver Linings' Author Quick is Still Quirky

“Dear Mr. Richard Gere.” As far as first lines go, this is a new one. Yet so starts every single chapter of the brilliant Matthew Quick’s latest novel, The Good Luck of Right Now (Harper), which follows the grieving process of genuinely bizarre 38-ye…
By Lara Southern

The Paradoxes of War in Hummel's 'Motherland'

They say, “Home is where the heart is.” From the heart is where we draw our greatest inspirations, and find the greatest love stories. True though this may be, as she dug deep into the history of her own home, author Maria Hummel encountered a tangle…
By Lara Southern

Score One for Susan Straight and John Green

While East Coasters are still willing winter away, those in sunny California are busying themselves with much more important (and exciting) matters — like book prizes! The L.A. Times announced on Wednesday 50 finalists recognized for their works in 1…
By Lara Southern

What Would It Be Like to Forget Everything?

Take a moment to reflect on the last ten years of your life. No, make that the last twenty. All of the people whom you met, friends made and lost, trips taken, lessons learned, all of the thousands of moments that form the make up of our characters. …
By Lara Southern

Girls Who Read Are Sexier

If your ideal Valentine's Day is spent with a book, there are a few things to note. The first: What's up? You're in good company. Second: There's a whole league of gents who think you're just the girl. In "Girls Who Read," poet Mark Grist puts to res…
By Lara Southern

Whimsy at the World's Fair in 'The Swan Gondola'

As a member of today’s self-involved and indulgent society, I can admit that I favor reading works that speak to my own experience and that are recognizable in setting. On occasion, however, there is nothing like the thrill of being completely transp…
By Lara Southern

What Your Favorite Books Say About You

They say you should never judge a book by its cover. Living as we do, however, where a collective obsession with aesthetic perfection is often in the forefront, it is hard to avoid. We care, far more than we should, what others think, and have inextr…
By Lara Southern

Mystery at the Museum in Rachel Pastan's 'Alena'

It’s the story we’ve all hoped to live. At first glance, as a young curatorial assistant, exploring Venice for the first time during the Biennale, our fresh-faced heroine of the Rachel Pastan’s newest novel Alena seems to be living the post-college d…
By Lara Southern

E-Reading Is Still On the Rise

It appears this past holiday season found us feeling somewhat bookish as we tore through our end of year savings. Findings from a recent survey show that the number of Americans own digital devices dedicated to reading e-books, such as the Kindle or …
By Lara Southern

In 'Apple Tree Yard', Sex and Suspense Rule

It takes a lot to shock these days. Tales of corruption, untruths, and infidelities are commonplace, both factual and fictitious — but rarely do these (sadly) everyday occurrences end in the kind of explosive consequences that face the characters of …
By Lara Southern

Lucky Find: Mary Shelley's Unpublished Letters

Hello, literary goldmine. Nora Crook, a professor emerita of English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University across the pond, has discovered a lost collection of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley's letters. They're set to be published for the first t…
By Lara Southern

Love and Loss in Henderson's 'Unremarried Widow'

For many of us, our mid-20s are years for self-discovery — for taking the lessons learned (or not) in our teens and beyond and trying to make sense of them. It is, we like to hope, a time of possibility and opportunity; a time to dream big. For Artis…
By Lara Southern

Frame's Legacy Endures in the 'Memorial Room'

One doesn’t like to instantly compare an author with her protagonist — it is too easy and often unwarranted. In the case of Harry Gill, however, the main character in the late Janet Frame’s novel, In The Memorial Room (Counterpoint), it is almost una…
By Lara Southern

Writers On How to Get Through the Holidays

The holidays, for all of their purported joys and festivities, are often a mixed bag. While many stand firmly behind the belief that nothing can top this time of year (the booze! the Christmas bounty!), for some, the threat of family feuds and regret…
By Lara Southern

Meet Your David Foster Wallace Biopic Star

It's no surprise we're enormous admirers of the work of David Foster Wallace, from his awesome masterpiece Infinite Jest to what is quite possibly the best commencement speech ever. So we were more than a little excited when The Wrap reported today t…
By Lara Southern

'In Violet's Wake': One Woman, Five Exes

Unfairly or otherwise, there exists an understanding that the post-breakup pow-wow is a social phenomenon largely dominated, or at least perfected, by women. Robin Devereaux-Nelson, winner of the 2012 Fabri Literary Prize, is helping to turn the trop…
By Lara Southern

Jane Austen Now Has an Army of Avatars

As if we needed further evidence that Jane Austen retains her foothold as the "go-to" goddess of literature, a Kickstarter campaign has just raised $109,563 to fund Ever, Jane , an interactive online game which allows multiple players to navigate ear…
By Lara Southern