Archives: writers

The late editor of The Nation, the dangers of alcohol, the novel of a friend, and the improbable end of education as we know it: newsletter, February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, First Amendment, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,845) on Friday, February 3, 2023. During my academic career, I was fortunate enough to be able to write and publish several textbooks. Writing textbooks was a central focus of many of my efforts, and I enjoyed it immensely. One of the things I enjoyed • Read More »

The disappearance of an MP, keys to college success, how we got the First Amendment, and more:newsletter, January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,753) on Friday, January 27, 2023. My tour of news sites that attempt to avoid the “bad news bias” continues with a site that is not exactly “good news” but is filled with good information—and probably the kind of information that you can apply directly • Read More »

Setting a standard for the police procedural, how we got the Smithsonian, and the love of American football: newsletter, January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, sports, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,829) on Friday, January 20, 2023. As promised in last week’s newsletter, I continue to present websites that attempt to avoid, as best they can, the “bad news bias” of many of the mainstream media. This week’s entry is YES! magazine. YES! emphasizes what it • Read More »

Harriet Preston Spofford and the first female-authored detective series

January 14, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Her work had been published in a variety of newspapers and magazines, but most of them were low circulation periodicals. Harriet wrote incessantly, sometimes as much as 15 hours a day, because the money that she received from her publications barely covered the family’s expenses. In 1859 she wrote a story that she believed was • Read More »

The first female-authored detective series, the gun-slinger who became a sports reporter, and the Tylenol murders: newsletter, January 13, 2023

January 13, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,753) on Friday, January 13, 2023. The “bad news bias” of the news outlet that I regularly visit has been all too obvious lately. I know enough about journalism not to blame the messenger. There’s plenty of bad stuff out there that we need to • Read More »

Metta Victoria Fuller Victor and the first American detective novel

January 6, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

You have probably never heard the unusual name Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, but from now on whenever you hear the name Edgar Allan Poe, you should try to remember Metta’s name. Poe is the undisputed (mostly) father of American detective fiction. He wrote three short stories featuring Inspector Auguste Dupin, and he wrote about detective • Read More »

The first American detective novel, an ode to libraries, and the first published poet in American newsletter, January 6, 2023

January 6, 2023 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, libraries, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,753) on Friday, January 6, 2023. Some people blanche at the word “resolution” especially at this time of year. They believe, often rightly, that New Year’s resolutions are meaningless if not harmful because they raise expectations and often result in frustration. I don’t really subscribe • Read More »

Jonathan Swift, Andrew Greeley, and things about good and bad book reviews: newsletter, December 30, 2022

December 30, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, December 30, 2022. As with most authors, I am of two minds when it comes to reviews of anything I have written. Reviewers who are kind are obvious geniuses able to perceive the many profundities—written with the appropriate amount of self-effacing • Read More »

George Smalley, JFK on open government, sports writing, and Safire on words: newsletter, December 23, 2022

December 23, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, December 23, 2022. In order to give myself a couple of weeks off, the newsletter this week and next week will be populated mostly by material from the JPROF.com archives. Much of this was originally posted a decade or more ago, • Read More »

Constance Garnett and the translator’s dilemma

December 16, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

When we read a book or see a play that has been written in another language and translated into English, what exactly are we reading or hearing? Are they the words of the author or the words of the translator? This is the eternal dilemma of translation. Each language has its own words, phrases, structure, • Read More »

The translator’s dilemma, advance copy readers, and General Grant as public writer: newsletter, December 16, 2022

December 16, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, December 16, 2022.   This month brings to a close my four-and-a-half-year tenure as the writer-in-residence for the Blount County Public Library. This association with what has to be one of the best local libraries in the nation has been one • Read More »

The ever-controversial game of soccer, writing like a shotgun, and the “branding” of an author’s name: newsletter, December 2, 2022

December 2, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, writers.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, December 2, 2022. In a conversation I had recently with a friend, she and I were discussing certain authors, whose books we enjoyed reading. The name of one author, one who is quite well-known, came up, and we both agreed that • Read More »

Thanksgiving, the father of newspaper advertising, new dinnertable rules, and campus fiction: newsletter, November 25, 2022

November 25, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, newspapers, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 25, 2022. We are in the midst of my favorite holiday, and I’ve found I am far from unique in feeling that way. Thanksgiving means cooler weather, lots of leaves, lots of sports on television (if you are into that), • Read More »

The return of John Rebus, divisions and unity, bloated college administrations, and a slice of the Navy: newsletter, November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 18, 2022. Our nation once again demonstrated its normal tendency to social and political schizophrenia, something the Republic has been experiencing for more than 200 years. On Tuesday, we showed that we are still sharply divided politically between Republicans and • Read More »

Annie Oakley, Veterans Day, the real ‘fugitive,’ sort of, and reader reactions: newsletter, November 11, 2022

November 11, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 11, 2022. This newsletter is being sent out initially on Veterans Day, November 11th. This day tends to get lost among the plethora of holidays between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Most veterans I know (and I am one of • Read More »

The Hippocratic Oath, Cooper’s ‘The Spy,’ and a new All Quiet on the Western Front adaptation: newsletter, November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, November 4, 2022. Growing up in the pre-Ice Age (that is, the 1950s and the 1960s), we looked upon Halloween as a small blip on the fall calendar that presaged the coming of Thanksgiving (a few days off from school) and • Read More »

Ignatius Sancho, jettisoning bad behaviors, local authors follow-up: newsletter, October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalists, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 28, 2022. My various readings and searches during the last few weeks have included a number of items about the concept of the “Sabbath.” The idea of the Sabbath, whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual, or “none of the above” • Read More »

Celebrating Local Voices, Mary Seacole, and readers respond to the the watercolor collection: newsletter, October 21, 2022

October 21, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2, 491) on Friday, October 21, 2022. My local library, the Blount County Public Library, is having a special event honoring local authors on Saturday, October 22 (the day after this newsletter originally appears), and I have been privileged to be part of the planning • Read More »