June 5, 2012
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door encapsulates the tenor of much of the best of Keret’s short fiction: The striving to chronicle the human situation, to get beyond the partisan politics, anger, and fear of the contemporary Middle East even while struggling (knowingly struggling) within those constraints.
June 4, 2012
by Rob Goodman
What a plot synopsis of The Brothers Karamazov reveals is how Dostoevsky managed to hang a book of profound questions on some of the most hackneyed conventions of fiction: the murder mystery, the love triangle, the courtroom drama.
May 29, 2012
After I got an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I moved to New York City, and I must say, though both the insular little MFA world and the New York City world of literary culture come with their own and different forms of attendant bullshit, there is far, far — and I mean far — more bullshit in NYC.
May 21, 2012
by Amy Shearn
Martha Gellhorn’s pen pals included Eleanor Roosevelt, Maxwell Perkins, H.G. Wells, her husband (later, ex-) Ernest Hemingway, and Peggy Schutze, my maternal grandmother.
May 18, 2012
The bond formed around a favorite novel is one of shared immersive experience, usually open to impossibly wide interpretations. When we meet someone else who’s “been there,” there’s a biting urge to know exactly what the other person saw, what scenes remain strongest in her memory, what crucial knowledge or insight was retrieved, and what her experience reveals or changes about our own?
May 15, 2012
It’s an age-old complaint, but things don’t really seem to be changing. You can seek out literature from just about anywhere — and now it’s easier than any previous point in history — but it’s a hell of a lot harder to bring it into the conversation.
May 7, 2012
by R.B. Moreno
With the close of the post-Bolaño decade, it seems that the tide of the author’s original works is finally ebbing. New Directions’ latest release, much to my delight and that of other genre boundary-watchers, is The Secret of Evil, a thin collection of fictions that occasionally read as essays. Or is it the other way around?
May 7, 2012
I spent years feeling like a failure before I’d even started writing, all because I was terrified of producing a cliché. If only I could have written a World War II epic with a chose your own adventure twist.
May 2, 2012
If my father could not directly invite me to connect with him, he could find more oblique ways to bring the two of us together: he could give me reference books as gifts, bribe me to open the books he collected.
April 25, 2012
Tiger Lit has never been so popular. Look at the number of award-winning fictions in the last decade in which tigers escape from zoos. All kinds of besotted, bombed-out, starving, mangy, metaphoric and misunderstood man-eaters are now on the loose.