Is Literary Talent an Inherited Trait?: Critical Linking, July 16, 2020

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web, is sponsored by Flatiron Books, publisher of Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby.


“The art of novel writing isn’t often a family business. The combination of talent and perseverance required, plus the good fortune to be published, are rare indeed. Even rarer are literary generations of mothers and daughters. But there are three notable pairs of mother-daughter novelists throughout literary history who share the gift of language and the same storytelling talent – and suggest that talent can be inherited, either through natural ability or through careful nurturing. An author mother can be a path opener or a role model for her daughter, or both, and help shape her literary destiny.”

Does the apple fall far from the literary tree?


“‘”As a kid, I’d walk into great New York City libraries like the Schomburg and the Mid-Manhattan, on a field trip or for a school assignment, and feel this deep sense of awe, as if I’d stumbled into a sacred pocket in the city,” Whitehead said. “I hope that right now there’s a young kid who looks like me, who sees the Library of Congress recognize Black artists and feels encouraged to pursue their own vision and find their own sacred spaces of inspiration.'”

Give Colson all of his things.


“The bookshop was inspired by the look and feel of classical Chinese gardens, while the bookshelves are both a canvas and a wall, making the rounded door porches look like paintings filled with colorful books, guiding visitors into a labyrinth. Other elements include mirrored surfaces, while the café’s layout is inspired by a classical Chinese painting called ‘Qu Shui Liu Shang. Behind a door there lies a bamboo forest with simplified wooden branches.”

Oh, to be able to travel to this serene, bookish paradise.

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