The Prisons of Home

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, […]

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What Makes The Master Writer?

  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 […]

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Smooth Writing, Smooth Read

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 […]

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Pushing Poets and Then Some

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 […]

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CNF Dishes A Few Writerly Tips

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 […]

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The Way It Was – Southern-Style

  The Orchard Keeper, by Cormac McCarthy   You may become puzzled trying to categorize McCarthy’s writing style, but you won’t find it hard at all to place it in the canon of Southern literature. McCarthy eventually moved on from this subset, his most famous books taking place in the Southwest U.S., and taking on […]

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