The debut novelist talks to Zachary Watterson about writing religions, communities, and landscapes not his own, all with complexity and compassion.
Posts Tagged ‘characterization’
What can we learn from Chris Cleve’s interesting but sugary summer read about competing Olympic cyclists? That well-assigned conflicts are what make bestsellers tick.
Lysley Tenorio, author of the hotly-anticipated debut collection Monstress, on secret identity politics, the risk of becoming “that Filipino writer,” lightness and darkness in fiction, and Peter Cetera.
Lauren Groff’s second novel, Arcadia, gorgeously renders a commune’s rise, fall, and life-long resonance for the people who grew up within it. Unfolding as a series of snapshots, the book’s events span the birth of this late-1960s utopia and its central character, Bit Stone, to his middle age in a bleak—and imminent—dystopic future.
Like a hard layer of permafrost, longing and grief lie beneath the surface in Jack Driscoll’s new collection, The World of a Few Minutes Ago. Driscoll’s richly flawed characters toe that fine line between optimism against long odds and outright delusion.
“To love and to express it is to be vulnerable. To create works of art is to be vulnerable, and it’s hard for people to let themselves be vulnerable. Especially in this world, where the internet lets us democratically savage one another, it’s even scarier, but the courage to be an artist means also the courage to love and to express it.” So says Robert Olen Butler in this candid interview with Emily Alford.
The appeal of Jo Ann Beard’s coming-of-age novel In Zanesville transcends both age and gender.
Sharon Harrigan on the peril of reading George Saunders. Among them, the inability to leave home without encountering Saundersian absurdities.
Tyler McMahon’s new novel, How the Mistakes Were Made, is a tragedy set to rock and roll. In this conversation with Caleb Winters, McMahon recalls the paranoia of Cold War America, shares his experiences touring with a band, and reveals how writing can be like church.
Forrest Anderson on the semester he “caught fire as a writer,” when Ron Rash handed him a life-changing copy of Dale Ray Phillips’s debut, My People’s Waltz. Anderson describes the exquisite moments of grace in the collection when “all of the bad things to come are brewing on the horizon but haven’t yet managed to fully snag the family.”