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Christina Stead 5: History Will Reckon

The way in which Christina Stead reveals us to ourselves has often been described in visual terms. One reviewer of I’m Dying Laughing thought: “The prose itself is a black glowering eyeball pressed against its subject; a scientist at the microscope, obsessive and intent.” Because of her childhood training in botany and ichthyology Stead often thought of her job as a writer as stemming from the act of observation. 7,567 more words


Christina Stead 4: I'm Dying Laughing - Europa

i. Europa

The path to Europe taken by Stead and Blake who returned to France after the war – and by the Howard originals, Ruth McKenney and Stephen Bransten, who made their home in Belgium – was a well-beaten one for American writers in the first half of the century: visitors in the early decades included Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein; and the Twenties and Thirties brought T.S Eliot, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Malcolm Cowley, Djuna Barnes and Henry Miller.  18,164 more words


Christina Stead 3: I’m Dying Laughing - Amerika

i.     Restoration

In January 1950, settled temporarily in London, Stead wrote to Edith Anderson about Ruth McKenney, a popular comic novelist and one of Stead’s closest friends since the late Thirties, now the subject of the novel she had recently begun to sketch out about renegade American communists.  25,160 more words


Christina Stead 2: The Hollywood Background

i. The Fall

Christina Stead’s time in Hollywood in the Forties was brief (eight weeks’ employment at MGM; three or four months looking for work) and by the town’s lavish standards, poorly paid – “I was a $175-a-week-woman, and I counted for nothing.” Testimony to her insignificance is the fact that whatever contribution Stead made to the two films she worked on, it went uncredited. 20,511 more words


On the Books: Bruce Springsteen's publishing a book about a bank-robbing baby

The Boss is jumping on the bandwagon of musicians writing children’s books with the November 4 release of Outlaw Pete, a picture book based on his 2009 song of the same name. 184 more words


The Romantic Tough School of Writing | Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook

Toward the end of Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, protagonist Anna Wulf inserts this wonderful parody of a certain kind of midcentury writing (Henry Miller seems like the most obvious target here, although I use the term “target” loosely). 750 more words


Top Ten Books I Forgot I Owned

TOP TEN TUESDAY is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is ten books I really want to read but don’t own yet. 437 more words

Ernest Hemingway