Collected Stories, by Raymond Carver Continuing my focus on the short story: Without realizing their liaison, I met Carver’s wife in Atlanta in the eighties. As with most writing wannabes (I was only beginning to understand this art in my makeup), I sought her out at a book launch of hers and probably said […]Read More Stories With An Arkansas Sensibility
A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline The world of fiction is an organic, living one. That is to say, in regard to Kline’s fine book, there is a growing number of ways to write a biography. (Having written and soon to have published a similar biographic novel about one Hans Ulrich Rudel, […]Read More The Prisons of Home
Thumbing through the latest New Yorker issue (March 28, 2016) turned up a pleasant surprise: a short story, “My Purple Scented Novel,” by Ian McEwan, probably today’s most highly regarded English novelist. Predictably for me, the story proved as satisfying as cold watermelon on a hot North Carolina summer day. Then I began to wonder: What […]Read More What Makes The Master Writer?
Pronto, by Elmore Leonard I hadn’t read an Elmore Leonard book in ages, definitely not since I began writing full time, and I’m planning to write a sequel to one of my mystery novels next year, so I decided to read something by him again, to size up his chops. He wrote Pronto toward the […]Read More Smooth Writing, Smooth Read
The Writer’s Chronicle, November 2013 It’s not a clean sweep, but as far as interviews and articles go this month, The Writer’s Chronicle is focused on poets and poetry. I’m a little disappointed but not shocked, certainly. This is an academically based publication; and where do today’s poets run for cover? Academe. I’m no […]Read More Pushing Poets and Then Some
Creative Nonfiction, Summer 2013, Issue 49 This issue of Lee Gutkind’s fine nonfiction mag is thematically about “Survival and Unlikely Events,” but the most impressive bits here are some tips for nonfiction writers. But don’t surf on just yet, fiction-er; these can apply in general to you as well. Tim Bascomb’s piece, “Picturing […]Read More CNF Dishes A Few Writerly Tips
Sutton, by J. R. Moehringer Well, well. A Pulitzer-winning journalist that writes excellent historical fiction. One of the things that draws writers to historical fiction is a compulsion to fill in the unknown/unknowable gaps about events or characters and make the made-up gap fillers seem right in keeping with the known. But I […]Read More Vulnerability and Glamour, Past and Present