Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘writers on writing’

Shop Talk |

Thoughts From the Hopwood Room: Karen Russell on Earning Your Endings

Editor’s Note: The Hopwood Room Roundtable is a weekly event in which visiting writers of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing discuss their work and the writing life with the University of Michigan’s student body, faculty, and the local literary community. Inside the Hopwood Room, friends and colleagues caught up over coffee and cookies, discussing avalanche survival tactics and personal rules about never living in alligator-populated states, awaiting the main event: an in-the-flesh Genius. When Karen Russell—novelist, short story writer, MacArthur Genius Fellow, and probably the most easy-to-be-around and gracious person you’ll ever encounter—entered the room, which was […]


Shop Talk |

My Inner Erma: Embracing Humor Writing

My close friend Anthony once told me during an e-mail conversation that he considered me the modern-day equivalent of Erma Bombeck. I was offended. I think my actual reply was “WTF?” Anthony was confused. “Erma Bombeck was a great writer,” he typed. “She melded all of this every day experience into something bigger, but she did it by being funny.” “I don’t want to be Erma Bombeck! I want to be Joan Didion!” “You’re not that kind of serious,” he wrote. “Can I be Alice Munro?” It went on like this until he said, “You know, I meant it as […]


Interviews |

Finding the Authenticating Narrator: Part II of a Conversation with Russell Banks

Back in the fall of 2012, Sebastian Matthews hosted Russell Banks as Visiting Writer for Warren Wilson College’s Harwood-Cole Lecture Series. Knowing he’d be in town for a few days, Matthews arranged to interview Banks, who is a long-time family friend, on Jeff Davis’ radio show Word Play. What follows is Part II of their conversation.


Interviews |

Finding the Authenticating Narrator: Part I of a Conversation with Russell Banks

Back in the fall of 2012, Sebastian Matthews hosted Russell Banks as Visiting Writer for Warren Wilson College’s Harwood-Cole Lecture Series. Knowing he’d be in town for a few days, Matthews arranged to interview Banks, who is a long-time family friend, on Jeff Davis’ radio show Word Play. What follows is Part I of their conversation.


Essays |

That’s Funny

Debra Spark on what’s funny in fiction–and what’s not. “The humor that works in literary fiction, the humor I like, is female. I mean ‘female’ in a pretty stereotypical way here. I don’t mean that the literary work is by women per se, but that it is relational.”




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