Monthly Archive:: December 2010

New Year’s Resolution

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Guest post by Fan Wu I was awakened at 3:36 a.m. by my two-year-old daughter’s crying. I went to her room and lay down beside her, as I always do when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Half an hour later she fell sleep, while I

Notes from My Dashboard

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Guest post by Greg Schutz “Writing a novel,” E.L. Doctorow has observed, “is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” For me, at least, the same could be said about writing short

Nightwood, Revisited

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Or, perhaps I should say, Nightwood–finally visited. As readers may recall, I publically chided myself for my inability to get through a book I truly wanted to read–Djuna Barnes’ novel, Nightwood. Fond of her other work (Ryder, Creatures of an Alphabet, Ladies Almanack,

Of Mice and Horsemen: Point of View in ‘Lord of Misrule’

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Guest post by Greg Schutz Early in her National Book Award-winning novel Lord of Misrule, Jaimy Gordon offers two competing accounts a single conversation through two different points of view. Medicine Ed, an old groomsman at a rundown thoroughbred track in West Virginia, spies on an encounter between Maggie,

Terrance Hayes at Ploughshares (pt. 2)

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Terrance Hayes graciously visited Ploughshares at Emerson College’s campus on December 2, 2010. At 4:00 pm Kim McLarin conducted a Q&A with Terrance, and then moderated questions from the audience. At 6:00 pm, Terrance returned, freshened up with a jolt of coffee from a nearby coffee shop, ready for

Congratulations to Julia Story

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All of us at Ploughshares would like to congratulate Julia Story for winning the twentieth annual John C. Zacharis First Book Award for her prose poetry collection Post Moxie: Poems (Sarabande Books, 2010). The $1,500 award, named after Emerson College’s former president, honors the best debut book by a

The Trouble with Happiness

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Guest post by Greg Schutz In 1873, Tolstoy famously opened Anna Karenina with a homily that has hounded fiction writers ever since: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Even though Anna Karenina ultimately complicates the notion of happiness and, furthermore, questions

The Hen and Her Eggs

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Guest post by Fan Wu An acquaintance recently e-mailed me to announce her upcoming book launch party, to be held in an expensive restaurant, with free food and drinks and a near-celebrity’s attendance. Each guest will pay a small entrance fee and receive a signed copy of the book.

The Power of Redemption Narratives

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Guest post by Megan Mayhew Bergman Two things caught my eye before the Thanksgiving holiday: 1) Michael Vick’s electrifying performance against the Redskins 2) James Frey’s “Fiction Factory”, and his alleged tactic of asking his employed writers to follow a Greek three-act narrative structure in their commercial work, with

The Book You Didn’t Know You Needed

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Guest post by Greg Schutz The advent of another holiday season reminds me that, as readers and consumers, it’s easier than ever these days to get what we think we want. Looking for Jonathan Franzen’s new novel? A couple clicks, a couple keystrokes, and it’s on its way to