Articles by Bill Morris

October 17, 2014

The Curious Kick of Hearing an Actor Reading Your Writing 0

“When I read a book I’m listening to what the author wrote,” says the actor Kevin Kenerly. “Some people look at a novel as a text, but I look at it as language.”

September 19, 2014

“I Don’t Want to Always Write Stories About the Same Kind of Disaffected, Angsty, Youngish Dude:” On Justin Taylor’s Flings 6

These stories are loaded with memorable snapshots. But for a writer of Taylor’s wit and intelligence, that’s no longer enough.

September 16, 2014

Dan Epstein on the Hairy Goofy Polyester Glory of 1970s Baseball 0

In Epstein I discovered a smart writer who actually reveled in the cheesiness of the 1970s. And he did it without the killing smirk of irony.

August 18, 2014

Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Eco-terrorists So Different, So Appealing? 3

Are these activists terrorists, as the government would have us believe, or are they avenging angels performing a vital service, as they themselves believe?

June 13, 2014

Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline: The New Jersey Poems of Timothy Walsh 0

When the World Was Rear-Wheel Drive understands that loss is imminent and inevitable, and that the things we have lost are beyond retrieval. That’s what makes it so painful, and so lovely.

June 2, 2014

The Past Will Never Be Past: On A Detroit Anthology 3

But the thing I wanted to do with this anthology was get past the stance that we’re going to explain this city. I wanted to get the candid conversations Detroiters have with other Detroiters — diverse and true and candid conversations people have at a dinner table or in a bar.

May 13, 2014

Lee Zacharias Writes Again: On The Only Sounds We Make 1

“We are all just passing through,” Zacharias reminds us. “It is what we remember of the journey that we possess.”

April 29, 2014

Forget About James Franco 19

I’ve been around enough creative types to know that the only thing more toxic and debilitating than their schadenfreude is their seething resentment over the success of a rival. Especially when it’s seen as unearned.

April 4, 2014

Are We Entering a Golden Age of the Second Novel? 7

If a first novel fails to become a blockbuster, as almost all of them do, publishers are less inclined to get behind the follow-up by a writer who has gained a dubious track record but has lost that most precious of all literary selling points: novelty. Writers get only one shot at becoming The Next Big Thing.

March 31, 2014

Digging Beneath the Cliché of Ruin Porn in Detroit 1

Only a true Pollyanna would try to minimize Detroit’s staggering problems. But buying into the dreary old ruin-porn narrative is, in its way, as myopic as rosy optimism.