Articles by Philip Graham

June 29, 2015

Something You Can Use: The Writer’s Self-Healing Wound 4

A psychic wound can be its own healing agent, may itself contain a gift, and may offer a form of unexpected inspiration. Yet how to embrace this elusive not-damage within the wound?

May 20, 2015

Trouble Using Light: The Complications of Art in the Fiction of Christine Sneed 0

Sneed offers, with quiet confidence, her characters’ increasing complexities. People, like the best art, deserve more than one interpretation. There is little black and white contrast in Sneed’s work, and she lingers in every gradation of shade in between, as if gray were a full palette of color.

October 17, 2013

Silently, Side by Side: Reading with My Son 11

Maybe those days of curling up in bed with a story were long gone, but what if we read the same book together silently in the living room? If I bought two copies of a novel, we could take on chapter-length chunks each evening and then discuss what we’d just read. Perhaps in this way I could gently lead my son to an appreciation of the deeper internal landscapes that literature offers.

July 24, 2013

Shepherding Sadness: The Fiction of Mia Couto 3

Why all this recent success for a writer that you’ve probably never heard of? Couto is a master at inverting reality, reversing the order of the world with a swift aphoristic grace that leaves us puzzling over our normal assumptions.

April 8, 2010

Every Day I Open a Book 10

Perhaps all those years of reading adventure stories had given me a vocabulary of action, a means to save my father’s life, as if I’d been preparing, through books, for those charged moments without knowing it.