Lois Leveen


November 3, 2014

Parla Italiana?

I grew up in a predominantly Italian neighborhood, and about all I learned to say is "lasagna." Though with the right lasagna, that one word can be enough.

I've since studied Italian, although I have to admit, I do not know enough to decipher this lovely article, which is about me and my research on Juliet's (alleged) balcony. It's from La Stampa, a newspaper in Turin.

La Stampa

That's worth celebrating. With a whole plate full of lasagna.

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October 31, 2014

The Biggest Shakespeare Fallacy?

What's the most famous scene in *Romeo and Juliet*?

Heck, it's probably the most famous scene in all of Shakespeare.

Make that, all of English drama.

Yup, the balcony scene. Except, there is no balcony in Romeo and Juliet -- the word didn't even exist in English until after Shakespeare died.

So why do we all associate it with his play? Let's just say, you ought to be wondering "Wherefore art thou, Marius?"

Read all about it via The Atlantic.

Atlantic piece

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October 30, 2014

Chatty Author Chick

Unless you are an author, or you interview authors, you may not know that author interviews often happens weeks or even months before they "go live," whether in print, on radio or TV, or online. So it's just a coincidence that this week you can find me being interviewed by a prominent Shakespeare scholar, and by a nearly-at-term expectant mother, which in this case is two different people. (Yes, Shakespeare scholars are sometimes also expectant mothers, but not in this instance).

Shakespeare scholar interview is in the Shakespeare Standard.

Expectant mother interview is on Unabridged Chick. She also did a lovely review of the novel earlier in the week.

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October 22, 2014

O Canada, or really IFOA Canada

Heading to Canada, where I'll be giving 5 talks in 6 days, mostly through the very wonderful International Festival of Authors.

Here's a nice interview with them.

Of course it's nice. The Canadians are always nice. Except in the hockey rink. Then they pretty much knock your teeth out. I try not to get into the hockey rink, as I am fond of my teeth. I have more of them than Angelica, after all. (Yeah, Shakespeare knocked her teeth out, too).

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October 15, 2014

Can One Page Reveal an Entire Book?

What can one page tell you about an entire novel?

According to Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian cultural theorist, if you are trying to decide whether to read a novel, you should flip it open to page 69 and read that page. If you like it, chances are you'll like the novel. If not, then no.

Does it work? According to the Guardian, you can try it as a reader on everything from Great Canonical Works to Pop Trash, to varying (but maybe equally revealing and useful) effects.

I was recently asked to take the Page 69 Test not as a reader but as an author. Flip to p. 69: what does it tell you about your book.

As it turns out, page 69 may be the shortest page in Juliet's Nurse. So what, if anything, can it tell you about the novel as whole?

A lot. Find out precisely what over at the wonderful blog The Page 69 Test.

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