“By allowing strangeness into our familiar landscapes, we can surprise the reader into pausing, paying attention, and possibly recognizing some kind of familiar human truth in a new, illuminating way”: Christina Ward-Niven on odd narrative events in Chekhov.
Fall has swept in to this part of Michigan, bringing with it the low, gray clouds and cool weather of October. But even with the overcast skies of the past few days, my spirits are still high after our State of the Book literary symposium two Saturdays ago. Nearly 900 people attended the symposium’s seven events, which stretched over eleven hours. And more than 30 authors with Michigan roots participated in the day’s readings, panels, and conversations. We also had the next generation of authors on hand. In fact, they kicked off the event! 826michigan timed this year’s OMNIBUS anthology […]
Fritz Swanson has graciously donated time, talent and materials to create a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind edition of Charles Baxter’s poem “Please Marry Me” for The Great Write Off and The State of the Book. The top five FWR fundraisers for The Great Write Off will get one of only 100 copies of the poem handmade with care by Fritz.
In this essay, Baxter writes that a trustworthy review has “a kind of doubleness: the reviewer manages to assert somehow that the book under discussion is of some importance for one reason or another; and second, a good review provides a formal description of the book’s properties, so that you could reconstruct it from the reviewer’s sketch of it.”
Quite early on in The Art of Subtext, Charles Baxter gives a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for a compelling story: “give the character exactly what s/he wants, and see what happens.” In Eisenberg’s stories, having what one wants is an unexpectedly fraught condition.
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