Ethan Canin Archive

In Defense of Lingering: Ethan Canin’s “Pitch Memory”

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As a teacher, I am occasionally accused of lingering. One poem by Emily Dickinson can fill an entire class. An hour isn’t too long to unpack the final page of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Review: A DOUBTER’S ALMANAC by Ethan Canin

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A Doubter’s Almanac Ethan Canin Random House, Feb 2016 576 pp; $28 Buy: hardcover | eBook Mathematicians toil in obscurity, often for years, at work that will probably come to nothing. It doesn’t take a Fields Medalist to understand why a novelist, that most uncertain toiler of all, would

On Crafting Presidential Narratives

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Martin O’Malley’s failed presidential bid is a novel that writes itself, and I’d write it tomorrow if my plot wouldn’t risk turning into fan fiction. A handsome, two-term governor gets bested by a woman and a socialist and suspends his campaign after receiving 0.5% of the vote in the

Origin Stories: Fiction by Prompt

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How do great authors begin their fiction? With a line or a character, a memory or a mission? This year, as Ploughshares’s unofficial origin-story archivist, I’ll investigate. Because I’m a teacher, I started by looking for stories that grew out of writing assignments. Here’s what I found. 1. Amy