Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 15 Historical Novels

Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 15 Historical Novels

Historical fiction, the vast territory where history meets fiction, can be a story about prehistoric times or the Elizabethan era or the American Civil War. It can be a sweeping epic or a thriller or a bodice ripper. What is historical fiction? What are the qualities of a good historical novel?

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In Praise of the Here and Now: Top 12 Present-Tense Novels

In Praise of the Here and Now: Top 12 Present-Tense Novels

“September. It seems these luminous days will never end.” This is how James Salter’s 1967 novel, “A Sport and a Pastime,” begins. The unnamed narrator is describing Paris—in the present tense. It made me pause because countless writing workshops, articles, and panel discussions tell us the same thing: don't write your novel in the present tense.

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Are You a Literary Snob? 6 Signs to Watch For

Are You a Literary Snob? 6 Signs to Watch For

Is reading literature a form of snobbery? Literature has always been associated with the upper class because traditionally only rich people have access to it. They are also more likely to have the education necessary to appreciate literature. But in this day and age of global communication, when you don’t have to be able to read or understand a single word of French to appreciate Proust, is it still snobbish to read “Remembrance of Things Past?”

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James Salter's “A Sport and a Pastime": Languid, Rich, and Memorable

James Salter's “A Sport and a Pastime": Languid, Rich, and Memorable

James Salter's "A Sport and a Pastime" reminds me of a five-star resort. It’s luxurious, oftentimes impractical, but always pleasurable. Don't go looking for the basics. Everything is extra.

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