Essays Archives - Page 81 of 96 - The Millions

January 15, 2010

Down by the Riverside 6


Folk music, funerals, and “goodbye to all that.” On reaching across the generational divide.

January 15, 2010

Novels and Unicycles: Writing for Attention 33


Vanity helps anonymity get dressed in the morning, and anonymity helps vanity forget all the mean things the kids said at recess.

January 12, 2010

Sex, Seriously: James Salter Trumps the Great Male Novelists 26


It’s been said that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” The same might be said for sex, and even more aptly when it comes to writing about writing about sex.

January 7, 2010

In Defense of Editors 23


Gordon Lish usurped Raymond Carver’s work, and with it, some of his identity. It was traumatic at times for both parties, but in terms of art and aesthetic, wasn’t it worth it?

January 4, 2010

The Perils of Fiction 10


While writing Drift, I did my best to shut out the ongoing clamor of imagined disapproval and alienation from my family, promising myself to write uncensored. As I got closer to the reality of publication, I realized that the shit was going to hit the fan.

December 30, 2009

Year-End Reflections: The Great and The Good 1


It’s a thread I sense in most writers I know — that if a good amount of our first-fruit time and energy are going to be spent either in solitude or promoting our own work, we want also to make sure we are not atrophying in our human connectedness.

December 16, 2009

Writing in Trains 10


My subway writing habit began a few months ago, in the feverish time around the publication of my first novel.

November 25, 2009

Gender Confusion: On Literary Sausage Parties 12


The writers highlighted by Publishers Weekly certainly deserve our attention, but the kind of attention they got, I fear, is a reminder that they use the men’s room.

November 23, 2009

Dogs, Revolutionary Road, and The Thunderous Sea of Silence 6


On the violence of Richard Yates’s dialog, the failures of human speech in everyday life, and the silent togetherness of man and dog.

November 20, 2009

Goodbye to Oprah’s Golden Ticket 36


In a literary world where writers are playing the lottery against the longest of odds, Oprah was the winning ticket. But in less than two years, the ultimate book publicity coup will be off the table.