Essays Archives - Page 81 of 98 - The Millions

March 10, 2010

Through the Looking Glass: Notes on Disappearance 11

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People don’t disappear nearly as often in real life as they do in fiction. We’re fascinated, as a culture, by the idea of vanishing.

March 9, 2010

What About Genre, What About Horror? 50

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Just for beginners, let’s admit that literary fiction is a genre, too, shall we? Expectations guide its readers, that of respect for consensus reality and the poignancy of seemingly ordinary lives, of sensitive character-drawing and vivid scene-painting, of the reversals and conflicts characteristic of the several sub-genres of literary fiction.

March 4, 2010

Dispatch from the Borders-Land 13

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Late on a late December Friday, I decided to try something different: I headed to a mall-bound Borders and asked 37 customers about their relationship to books.

March 2, 2010

That Woman Who Writes 8

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I became known as “that woman who writes”—the patrons and employees showing me new tattoos, telling me about their breakups and fights and hangovers, and complaining about the “dickhead” who owned the coffeehouse.

February 26, 2010

Joy of Cooking: A Novel Experience 12

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The truth is, I read cookbooks like novels. Cover to cover, page by page, the dedication, the acknowledgments, the indexes: I devour everything.

February 19, 2010

My Biographer Will Be Pleased: Thoughts on Personal Papers 8

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I am so focused on things these days, of discarding them, packing them, transporting them. And my books and these old papers and letters–these say the most about my life than anything, any thing, could.

February 18, 2010

Not Lost, Just Rearranged: A Profile of Michelle Huneven 7

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“What’s wrong with you, is wrong with your writing,” Huneven says. “It really behooves you to find out what that is, so that you can disguise that in your writing. Or compensate it, or cover it up. Or cure it, if you can.”

February 17, 2010

Draft Dave: Why Eggers Should Edit The Paris Review 19

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As absurd as it may sound, I’d like to propose that Dave Eggers is the best candidate for editorship of The Paris Review. And, somewhat counterintuitively, that hiring him for the job might be as good for Eggers as for the magazine.

February 11, 2010

The Writer Career Arc, or Why We Love the Susan Boyle Story 14

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The idea is that the reader is interested in a rags-to-riches story, as if literary success were akin to winning the lottery, or better yet, being struck by lightning.

February 5, 2010

How Do I Get Home? A Profile of Nick Flynn 2

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Flynn navigates murky waters through his elegant language, trying not to blame the map he was given for his apprehension.