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Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1804. This birthdate and set tells us pretty much everything we need to know about Hawthorne: he is an American (born on the fourth of July!) And he's got roots in Salem (of witchcraft fame). Hawthorne became one of the earliest major writers in the United States, and he made his name at least in part by writing about the early colonial period in Massachusetts. This particular novel, The House of the Seven Gables, mixes a lot of......Read More
Regardless of what Hollywood would like you to think, there was no flash of lightning, no bolt through the head, no scientist yelling "It is alive! ," without a flat-top haircut. Throughout the summer of 1816, eighteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwinwas hanging outside at a Swiss lake home with her fan and future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley; renowned English poet, Lord Byron; along with Byron's doctor John Polidori. (And a few others, but these are the essential names.) Thus, you're bored......Read More
Leslie Marmon Silko is a fairly rad chick, also quite the accomplished writer to boot--but she likely would not tell you any of that himself. When she released Ceremony in 1977, she was unwilling to accept the name of "first female Native American novelist." As she points out in this interview, a whole lot about Native American history has been lost. "There could have been a Native American girl long ago that we don't know about," Silko speculates. Sounds like someone's been eating her fair......Read More
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