Author Archive

The Myth of the Wild

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Helen Macdonald’s choice to raise and train a goshawk in the wake of her father’s death is a decision tied inexorably to the notion of “wild” life and land. H is for Hawk is a sensitive, fraught, and unexpected memoir of land and what it means to be wild.

Crafting A Novelscape

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In the words of my own personal goddess of literature, Joyce Carol Oates, one should “…never underestimate the power­­—benevolent, malevolent, profound and irresistible— of place.” These words make my heart keen.

On Compromise and Character

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In The Bay of Angels, author Anita Brookner examines female relationships with unflinching scrutiny. Sometimes I felt like a bug trapped under a hand lens on the pavement, squirming with discomfort, somewhat scorched by the proximity of her fictional approximations and truth.

Fleecing the Shears

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As a two-year-old child, British author Evie Wyld went into a coma that lasted half a day. The reason: viral encephalitis. The disease took two weeks to work its way through her nervous system. As a result of her brain being “cooked”—her word choice—slower brain waves mandated seizure medicine

Preserving Intent: What’s Lost in the Cinematic Translation of Mrs. Dalloway

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I like to follow up my reading of a text with its cinematic counterpart. After finishing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, I rented the DVD of the same name with great anticipation. But after the credits rolled, I was unsatisfied: while the cinematic version of Woolf’s novel provides a touching

On Building Believable Characters in Fiction

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Before I picked up a copy of Offshore last month, it had been years since I read Penelope Fitzgerald, a British author who didn’t start writing until she was in her sixties. But the characters in this Booker Prize-winning novel caught my attention and I soon became completely emerged

Challenging Cultural Norms: Contemporary British Women Authors

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I realized what I’d been searching for all along. An avid reader, I absorbed a variety of books during my childhood and adolescence. These were carefully screened by my well-meaning but stifling folks, who paled at the thought me reading