Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘setting’

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Get Writing: Just That I Love It

In the illuminating introduction to her Selected Stories, Alice Munro considers the recurring setting of her fiction: “The reason I write so often about the country to the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it.” She goes on to describe how memories of particular images from that geography will motivate her stories in their earliest, most daydreamy forms. For instance, Munro describes the image of “snow falling straight down” that served as the seed of a story. In its finished form, there’s no reference to that image, no trace for the reader to dwell on, but all […]


Reviews |

Arcadia, by Lauren Groff

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.


Interviews |

Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously: An Interview with Scott Nadelson

In conversation with Julie Judkins, author Scott Nadelson discusses how the “mad mystic hammering” of Bob Dylan inspired him to become a writer, why being a formerly reluctant reader informs his teaching, and how New Jersey has evolved in his fiction from an actual place to a state of being.


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Melbourne. Santiago. But not…

National Geographic recently released a list of the “Top 10 Literary Cities.” But it seems a bit controversial to me. Here’s the ranking: 1. Edinburgh, Scotland 2. Dublin, Ireland 3. London, England 4. Paris, France 5. St. Petersburg, Russia 6. Stockholm, Sweden 7. Portland, Oregon, USA 8. Washington, D.C., USA 9. Melbourne, Australia 10. Santiago, Chile You read that right: Portland, Oregon, is in the top 10, but New York City is not. It’s hard to argue with some of the choices on the list—London, Paris, St. Petersburg—but New Yorkers, what gives?


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WBUR's Zip Code Stories

I live in the 02138 zip code, popularly known around here as “the nation’s most opinionated zip code,” thanks to the hordes of Harvard and MIT students. I’m not sure about that title–94720 could probably give it some competition–but I like the idea that a zip code, which is really just an arbitrary zone, can have its own personality. That’s the idea behind WBUR’s Zip Code Stories. A joint project by Boston’s NPR station and audio lit mag The Drum, the series asks writers to develop stories based on a given local zip code: Each month, we’ll pick four ZIP […]


Interviews |

Find Your Metaphor: An Interview with Daniel Orozco

Daniel Orozco’s debut has been a long time coming. Now fans of his prizewinning fiction can enjoy an entire collection, Orientation: And Other Stories. Michael Shilling calls him in Idaho to talk geographic love letters, G. Gordon Liddy, and the peculiar challenge of gimmicks.




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