BURN PILE: "Literary Drama and the Coming of Fall" by Jake Bienvenue

The rapid coming of autumn was heralded this year by at least a couple of contentious happenings in the lit-sphere.

Many of you may be familiar with Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway. Or, if you’re like me, you hadn’t before this week. For those who haven’t found their way onto the media platform, Calloway has over 795,000 followers. This massive following led to a reported six-figure book deal--a deal which dissolved under mysterious circumstances. Earlier this week, Natalie Beach, Calloway’s friend and former ghost-writer, wrote a tell-all article in The Cut about the would-be literary celebrity. Whatever your opinion on the spat, the media attention it has garnered invites questions about the dynamic between social media and the publishing industry.

And if that doesn’t satisfy your thirst for drama, National Book Award-winner Jonathan Franzen wrote a contentious article in The New Yorker about the global climate crisis. In it, Franzen implores people to give up the pipe-dream of halting the process of planetary destruction. A novel take from the critically-acclaimed novelist. 

Well, let’s move on from that. It’s fall, and that means books in general, and spooky books in particular. If you’re an Agatha Christie fan, go check out a fascinating article about the mystery author and Post-Capitalism on LitHub, written by eminent philosopher and critic Slavoj Žižek. Or, if you want to write horror like Shirley Jackson, check out some advice from the author, also on LitHub. If you’re still not satisfied, consider showing up for ElectricLit’s Edgar Allan Poe-themed festival in October. 

To take a detour into the humorous while remaining within the spooky Victorian mindset, go take a peek at Colin Heasley’s mock-article in ElectricLit about writing queer characters in the Victorian era without getting censored. And to leave you with one last little bit of humor, Jessie Gaskell wrote a hysterical article in McSweeney’s titled “I’m Just the Guy to Write Your Female Empowerment Series.” 

And happy fall, folks.