reading Archive

On Reading Diaries: It’s Not Just for Pesky Little Brothers

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We were in our green Ford Aerostar, my high-school self trying to engage my parents in a serious discussion, when my brother began quoting, softly at first, lines from my diary. The kinds of lines you write for yourself, lines that are embarrassing and incriminating when recited out loud

Between Centuries: A Six-Month Perspective

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The year is more than half over, which means those of us who attempted New Year’s resolutions have either mastered, given up, or heavily revised them. It also means my year of reading 100-year-old books is halfway finished. It all started, in February, with a dead poet and a

Raising ’em right: Fiction & Parenthood

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Within the next few weeks, I’ll be officially responsible for introducing another human being to a sense of ethics—of how to be in this world. Granted, she and I will be initially concerned with a few other things, but the time will come when we will talk about right

From the Slush Pile: Readers Speak

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice 2 Comments
If there was a magic pill—you know lose weight, no exercise—to beat the slush pile and warm the hearts of editors straight to publication, I’d eat it and then dole it out to all of you. But we all know you have to do the work, show up every

Mother-Reader

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 3 Comments
In retrospect, I did everything wrong when I opened Emma Donoghue’s excellent story collection Astray. I didn’t check the author notes explaining the origins of each piece. I didn’t note the time: midnight. It didn’t occur to me that in a collection chronicling historical moments, there might be violence,

Series Junkies: We Are All “Loving Tyrants”

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What to do when, as a writer, you’re ready to move on from a world you’ve created, but your fan base is not? L. Frank Baum, the originator of the Oz world and all its charming characters, had exactly that experience. It goes like this. Beginning in 1900, he