perspective Archive

On Intimacy: Elena Ferrante & Stacey D’Erasmo

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It seems as though people do not want to believe that fiction can be intimate—that is: detailed, personal, private, sacred, something with which readers feel closely acquainted or familiar. It is especially surprising if it is also broad, and that one book can accomplish both apparently astounds reviewers.

On the Art of Perspective: Christopher Castellani & Maggie Nelson

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“I want to tell you what happened on the way to dinner.” Christopher Castellani‘s The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story begins with that simple phrase, the driving force of storytelling: the author has something they want to convey. Which quickly leads us to the issue of how

Review: SPILL SIMMER FALTER WITHER by Sara Baume

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How to express the unsayable in language? If there is one shared pursuit among writers, it is perhaps this: to capture an elusive essence, to paint emotion with words. In her debut novel Spill Simmer Falter Wither, Irish author Sara Baume meets this enduring challenge to astonishing effect, adeptly

Experiments in Perspective

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A crucial lesson I learned early on in my attempts at writing fiction is that every character is you–and not you. Characters have parts of you inside of them because you wrote them. But they are still not you. Chris Abani once said in a workshop that readers will

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #11: Guided By Voices

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part!  Are we all a bit hot and bothered from last session’s laptop romp? I’m new to the erotic writing game, and, well…

Writing Is Like Going on Vacation

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Over the past few months I’ve compared writing to walking, mixing a drink, cooking, and baseball, and you’ve indulged my metaphorical ramblings. But writing is like going on vacation? No siree. Writing is work, hard work. Work that takes dedication and thought and effort. Lots of effort. I’d rather