Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘research’

Essays |

Stealing From The Past: A Research Assignment in Realist Fiction

In the newest contribution to our Teaching Writing Series, Laura Valeri describes the rewards of teaching her students to utilize primary research such as oral histories, court transcripts, and testimonies as avenues for inspiring their own fiction, as well as how working with these resources can prompt productive classroom discussions on “ownership, truth in fiction, and about the ethical nuances of writing another person’s story.”


Interviews |

Save That Blood! An Interview with Jim Shepard

The title of Jim Shepard’s latest collection, You Think That’s Bad, could also be a creative mantra. Here the veteran writer discusses his research process, the apocalyptic state of the world, the (possible) irrelevancy of literature to the apocalypse, his epic mustache—and other matters of importance.


Shop Talk |

Book of the Week: The Little Bride, by Anna Solomon

This week’s feature is Anna Solomon’s debut novel, The Little Bride, which was published in September by Riverhead. Solomon’s short fiction has appeared in One Story, The Georgia Review, Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, and Shenandoah, among others. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and The Missouri Review Editor’s Prize. Her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Slate’s “Double X,” and Kveller. Before receiving her MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop, she was a journalist for NPR’s Living on Earth. For more about this novel, including the story behind its origins, please visit the […]


Shop Talk |

Researching the details in fiction

Mary Roach is my favorite nonfiction writer—partly because she’s wickedly funny, and partly because we share the same fascinated appreciation for the absurd. I’ve been a huge fan since her first book, Stiff, which is about the various uses of human cadavers. In it and all her other books (Spook, about science and the afterlife; Bonk, about science and sex; and Packing For Mars, about manned space exploration), Roach unearths details that are just too crazy to make up—such as the fact that a dead pope is struck on the forehead with a special hammer to be sure he’s really […]


Shop Talk |

Flipbook: "Research"

Two weeks ago we launched a new feature, the Fiction Writers Review “Flipbook.” During the past two and a half years, we’ve featured more than 50 interviews with authors established and emerging. They’ve had such valuable insights into the writing life – from thoughts on process and craft to ideas about community and influence – that we wanted to find a way to further these conversations within our community. Our second Flipbook is now up on the FWR Facebook page, with an exclusive slide right here on the blog. Every few weeks we’ll post a Flipbook that highlights some of […]


Shop Talk |

…and when reality becomes fiction

On the flip side of our earlier post on fiction becoming reality, reality is apparently becoming fiction just as fast. Classic pregnancy handbook What to Expect When You’re Expecting will soon be adapted into—yup, you guessed it—a romantic comedy. Entertainment Weekly reports: Jon-HammLionsgate has confirmed that they will adapt the bestselling pregnancy bible What To Expect When You’re Expecting and intend to give it the Love Actually and Valentine’s Day treatment. In other words, we’ll see a series of intertwining vingnettes with enough star wattage to blind most any moviegoer. For those of you looking to spin the straw of […]


Interviews |

Imagined Landscapes of History: An Interview with David Ebershoff

Brian Bartels talks with David Ebershoff–author, editor-at-large for Random house, and Columbia professor–about such topics as the role research plays in his writing, writing the book you want to read, the advice his gives his students about drafting, and how he approaches revision.



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