Every Journey Ends at Home

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward In the South, perhaps more than any other part of these United States, wealth determines both a family’s worth and their protection from harm. And in the South the way that truism affects  blacks hasn’t changed. The prize-winning Sing, Unburied, Sing is another of Ward’s with the poorer people…

Consultation No. 4 – With Papa Hemingway

    With some trepidation I knocked at Ernest Hemingway’s door and waited. And waited. Had I waited much longer I would have left, knowing his short fuse with reporters and lesser writers. With research we had found that the rap on Papa was that he was incredibly knowledgeable on a wide number of subjects,…

Let the Mothers and Fathers Speak

I’m afraid I’ve become jaded. Rarely do the newest of fiction and nonfiction books, and even poetry, speak to me as they once have. Lately I’ve had to force myself to read them, something you might glean from the rare reviews I’ve been posting. What’s wrong? Is it me? Have I simply read too many…

Eating The Postmodern Novel

The White Boy Shuffle, by Paul Beatty I had read Beatty’s latest, The Sellout, a few months ago and didn’t much care for it. When this happens, I usually ask, “What’s wrong with me? What did I miss?” I did miss something, but I’ll sort that out in a sec. I’m afraid, dear reader, that…

Thunderous Silence Speaking Volumes

I’ve had to let slide, for obvious reasons, promotional activities of my book from 2013, Sam’s Place: Stories. But as I begin to consider that again, I recognize that I’ve had reactions to the book ranging from “Good on ya!” to thunderous silence. Why the kudos? And why the silence? I have a fairly good grasp…

It’s Important, and We Should Listen To The Growing Complaints

  The readers of this blog know by now that I have problems with certain aspects of the American version of postmodern literature – one of my plaints is given here. Philip Roth, among other, less luminous beings in the writer/reader firmament, has given up on fiction. Why? Because many of the most talented young writers have…

Art and Time in Literature

Worried about structuring your next novel, writer? You readers out there don’t get why the writer hopscotched back and forth in time? This old post on a very fine novel, A Girl In Hyacinth Blue, may help both reader and writer. A hint: Monitor your thoughts for an hour or so. See how they constantly go from…