A Thin Veil Over Self

 The Last Worthless Evening: Four Novellas and Two Short Stories, by Andre Dubus  image via jhbooks.com Andre Dubus has been billed for years as the U.S.’s premier short story writer, and I certainly see evidence of such talent in this collection. But the trap our preeminent writers sometimes seem to fall into as their reputation […]

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What of 2011?

I keep thinking back to the first months of this year – how they led me, and time rolled on, to new things: new, new new. image via getjanet.com Much of what's happened around me has affected my reading habits, my writing, the publishing industry. Often history happens without a notice in the present – […]

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Gridley’s Sweet Sixteen of 2011

image via pastemagazine.com Here's my fave eight fiction and eight nonfiction reads of the year. To my eyes, American fiction has made a comeback, and the best nonfiction continues to be well written. My lists here are in no particular order, and most have posts on the blog – a couple will soon appear. If […]

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The Mysteries of Character

An agent recently told me during a face-to-face, and concerning a manuscript of mine he was looking at, "You're telling too much at the beginning. It's an information dump. Spread out the back ground stuff, maybe over something like the first fifty pages." You always give the agent the benefit of the doubt, right? He […]

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Crossing the Border

End of the year magazine issues tend to be retrospectives, or the content seems more strained than usual. The January 2012 issue of Harper's Magazine seem to fall in line with the latter. However, there's one curious juxtaposition: A piece of first person reportage by Cecelia Balli, "Calderon's War," exposes the way the war on […]

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Thinking About The Novella

image via dwell.com There's a fascinating article (one every writer should read) in the December 2011 issue of The Writer's Chronicle by Kyle Semmel, "Revaluing the Novella." Semmel bemoans the short shrift the novella gets in the book marketing game these days, and he lays out some misconceptions and truths about the novella. The novella […]

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