Lois Leveen


December 30, 2012

How Do You Pick Your Next Read?

People ask me all the times, "What made you decide to write this novel?"

But what I want to ask THEM is, "What made you decide to read it?"

So I really enjoyed eavesdropping as this bookblogger mused about why she might read The Secrets of Mary Bowser (instead of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot or Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried).

Then I glanced around my bookshelves and wondered what anyone would think of me, if all they had to go on was all the books I own.
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December 20, 2012

Is Django Unchained Shackled to Hollywood’s Past?

Who's the bigger Uncle Tom: Samuel L. Jackson or Mickey Mouse?
MIckey Mouse as Uncle Tom
Check out "Is Django Unchained Shackled to Hollywood's Past?" which I just wrote for Speakeasy, the Wall Street Journal's culture blog.

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December 2, 2012

Which Scares a Novelist More:  a Dentist, a Straight Razor, or Her Own Agent

What strikes terror into the heart of a novelist?

Listen to this piece from NPR's Live Wire! to find out:

Thanks as ever to the fantastic folks at Live Wire! Radio for having me on the show.
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November 18, 2012

Live from LiveWire

Last night I had a great time at the live taping for NPR's LiveWire! program.

LiveWire poster

It is mostly a comedy show.

Except that I was there talking about Mary Bowser, slavery, and the Civil War.

And Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale and NPR's Ari Shapiro were talking about the anniversary of the killing of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers.

And Arthur Bradford talked about the How's Your News team (of developmentally disabled reporters) covering the 2012 presidential campaign.

That may not sound like a rocking good time, but it was. Because in Portland, rocking good time and social justice are not incompatible concepts. They are inseparable pursuits.
Ari Shapiro, Thomas Lauderdale, Lois Leveen

Check out the rest of the pix on Facebook, and tune in December 1 or thereabouts to hear the show (check the full broadcast schedule by city or look for the podcast on livewireradio.org).
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November 13, 2012

The Love Letter Every Author Ought to Write

My fifth-grade teacher Ms. Ziegler taught our class how to use a thesaurus. It's one of the few things I can remember learning that I still benefit from every day.

How important is my thesaurus to me? I once wrote a love letter to it, entitled "Living in Synonyms."

Apparently, I'm not the only one who adores her/his thesaurus. Don't believe me? Check out the responses to "An Ode to the King of Writerly Tools," a piece I just published in The New York Times.

How do you feel about your thesaurus? Or, for that matter, your fifth-grade teacher?
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