Author Archive

A Dream or No

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It seems a pretty commonplace thing to say that great art results from heartbreak. There are countless examples in painting, music, and literature. Sometimes it’s a series of hardships that inspired an artist. Sometimes a direct line can be drawn back to a single event that brought about a

The End of Things

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Popular opinion says that during the holiday season, people either fall in love or reflect on their past year of life. Sometimes they do both, but it’s hard to manage these conflicting actions at the same time. One is active, expressive, and outward moving. The other is passive, observational,

Anything Goes: Storytelling in a Digital Age

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In the age of the Internet, fiction writing is changing yet again. As readers and writers, should we fear the use of technology in books? History says “no.”

A Stone, a Leaf, a Southern Genius

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From the moment he steps onscreen in director Michael Grandage’s Genius Thomas Wolfe (played by Jude Law) is an aberration. At 6’5, the writer was literally larger than life. He often worked hovering over a refrigerator-cum-writing desk.

What Country?

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In a 2001 Penguin introduction to the novel, Colm Tóibín writes: “In Another Country, Baldwin created the essential American drama of the century.” Baldwin’s novel is rife with symbols of life in the USA: jazz, cocktails, the movies, and the idea of “making it.” It’s a story of searching

Why the Girl Rules the World

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It’s hard not to notice the word girl writ large on book covers and film posters everywhere. It’s also tough to ignore the flurry of opinions on whether titular appropriation of the word is sexist and offensive or just smart marketing. Turns out the word is surprisingly flexible.

MFA vs. PhD

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Last year, at 28, I attended my first writer’s conference in Virginia and a fiction workshop. I felt like a wallflower who’d only just realized all the other flowers had long ago left the wall in pursuit of something deemed extremely useful in the American literary community—the MFA.

M. & Mme Bovary the Romantics

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I first read Madame Bovary in high school. I found Emma whiny and annoying like I probably was and couldn’t see too far past her image. I didn’t remember her husband Charles at all, and I definitely had no feelings for him. Who would?