A thousand trees have been planted in a forest outside Oslo, Norway to provide paper for a special anthology of 100 books to be published in 2114. Future Library, the ultimate public art project, was launched by Scottish artist Katie Paterson. Each year between now and 2114, a writer will contribute a book to be held in trust for a century until the forest is cut down. A special room will be designed in Oslo’s New Public Deichmanske Library to hold the books. The city of Oslo is onboard to ensure that the forest and manuscripts are supported for the next several decades as the project begins to outlive its founders. A statement on the project’s website explains:
“Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.”
The contributing authors will have the creative challenge of their lives as they write for people living in a future we can’t imagine. The contributors haven’t been announced yet, but they’ll will be selected by the Future Library Trust, which is staffed by artists, publishers and other creatives. The name of the first author will be released in the next few weeks, and their manuscript will be handed over for preservation in a special ceremony in 2015. Interested book fans can even buy a limited edition certificate from Paterson that entitles the owner (well, more likely, the owner’s descendants) to a complete set of the books once they’re printed in 2114. Will people be so used to e-readers 100 years from now that paper books out of trees will seem blasphemous? Will climate change have altered the very fabric of the forest? I’d love to see what happens next with this awesome project, and hey, maybe if my pipe dream of us all living to be 200 comes true I’ll find out.
When I started writing my memoir, Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China Gone Wrong, I began networking with authors who wrote books set in Asia. I imagined developing solid friendships with a group of supportive authors. There’s a Chinese saying, huxiang bangzhu. It means “mutually helping one another.” That’s what I pictured.
Fast-forward six years. My memoir was being published and I arranged for review copies to be sent to authors I’ve gotten to know through social networking or in person. I knew I couldn’t expect rave reviews just because we have a connection or because I had given their books five stars on Amazon and Goodreads. But for the most part, I had been extremely pleased with the feedback.
Well, except for this one guy. Keep reading »
You’re an adult now. It’s time to stop jotting things down on receipts and scraps of paper you found in your junk drawer. Whether you’re a writer who always needs a notebook handy, a dreamer who finds inspiration in everyday life or just your average on-the-move guy or gal, your daily musings and messages deserve to live in a real journal (and no, stacks of napkins do not count). We found 10 awesome journals with statements of their own to help you get organized, and may even inspire you to clean out that junk drawer. Click through the gallery to check ‘em out!
Have you ever run out to grab lunch alone, only to realize you didn’t bring your phone or a book or a magazine or anything to read while you eat? It’s super awkward and boring, right? Author Jonathan Safran Foer thought so too, while eating a burrito at Chipotle one day. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,” he told Vanity Fair of his solo lunch experience, which might sound a tad dramatic, but hey, he’s a writer, give him a break. Anyway, Foer decided to do something to ensure no one else ever had to suffer through a burrito bowl without some good reading material, so he emailed the CEO of Chipotle, Steve Ells. Keep reading »
No more trying to find a coffee shop with reliable WiFi and clean bathrooms. No more praying your roommate can refrain from talking for half a day while you peck away on the keyboard. It’s still in the “test-run” phase, but it’s OK to get your hopes up because Amtrak has confirmed that it will be implementing a writing residency program. It’s just what it sounds like: writers will be able to take long (hopefully free), roundtrip train rides with the sole purpose of writing. It’s genius because between the people watching, the change of scenery and the quiet, it’s hard to come up with excuses not to be productive (a writers’ favorite game). If you don’t suffer from motion sickness, it’s essentially the perfect environment to write your essay, novel or screenplay. Keep reading »
According to a study published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, in an analysis of literature published between 1960 and 2008, the use of first person singular pronouns (I, me) increased by a staggering 42 percent. An article published in The Atlantic Wire looks at this exceptional rise in first person pronouns and writer Eric Levenson theorizes that it may be attributed to the increase in women’s writing. Keep reading »