World’s Strangest

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Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional

It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150 novelists, asking if they intentionally planted symbolism in their work. Seventy-five authors responded. Here’s what 12 of them had to [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Literary Smack-Downs, Quips, and Squabbles

There’s an adage they give you when you receive your name badge at the door of Writer Land: “You only compete with yourself.” While most authors hold true to this (at least in public), there are those who make time to spend bashing their fellow wordslingers. Here are ten cringe-worthy examples. 1. Mark Twain vs. Ambrose [...]

The Shortest Book Titles

AbeBooks.com has compiled a list of the shortest book titles in the English language. Twenty are only a single letter long, such as Andrew Lewis Conn’s P. Literary superstars like John Berger, John Updike and Thomas Pynchon all have penned single letter titled books. Purists will be quick to say some of these titles on our [...]

The Early (Not-So-Literary) Jobs of 10 Great Authors

It’s not unusual for professors and journalists to end up as influential writers—just look at Toni Morrison, Ezra Pound, and John Updike. But sometimes our wordslinging heroes take a longer, less direct route to greatness. Oftentimes, those experiences will end up in the author’s work. Other times, it’s just an odd footnote. Here are ten [...]