Suspend Your Disbelief

Gwen Glazer


Gwen Glazer recently moved to Ithaca, NY, to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science and start a job that involves two of her favorite things: writing and librarians. She has one unpublished manuscript called “Down Home” and one novel-in-progress called “that new one about summer camp.” Gwen wrote a books column for a local newspaper for seven years, and her journalism-related work has appeared inWashingtonian magazine, National Journal, and several other publications. Three books she recommends to other writers are Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride, Edna O’Brien’s Country Girls trilogy and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. She also feels compelled to reflect upon subconscious lessons about character development—but not proper hyphenation or apostrophe usage—gleaned from Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club books. (Did she just admit that? Oh yes she did.) Gwen enjoys patting other people’s dogs, mucking about in her new garden and writing about herself in third person.


Shop Talk |


For a few Novembers now, I’ve been dimly aware that a few thousand people around the world were doing some weird writing thing during one of the busiest months of the year. NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 words — a whole novel — in one month. No editing, no going back, no working on previous projects. Quantity over quality. Revise later. That’s crazy, I thought. Who would do that? Then I came up with 10,000 reasons not to do it, including but not limited to my travel schedule in November, my schoolwork, my job, my boyfriend, my family, my […]

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Book Blog Tour: Pamela Ehrenberg visits FWR

Pamela Ehrenberg is the author of a new YA novel, Tillmon County Fire, which has just been released from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Eerdmans also published her first book, Ethan, Suspended, in 2007. Pam and I have been members of a six- or seven-person writing group since 2004. She has an amazing ability to make characters come alive, a natural instinct for the puzzle of a story, and also a tremendous sense of dedication and productivity that existed long before she had a book contract. She’s also one of the kindest people I know, and it shows in her […]

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Short Story Month rec: "Carry the Water, Hustle the Hole" by Allison Amend

I have a hard time remembering that I actually like short stories, even though Elizabeth Crane and Melissa Bank and Lorrie Moore are some of my favorite living authors, and short fiction is some (or all) of their best work. So when our wise and talented editor raved about Allison Amend’s newest collection, it took me half a year to get around to reading it. Don’t wait as long as I did. Things that Pass for Love is beautiful and brilliant, each story distinctly separate and distinctly wonderful. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but let’s go with “Carry the […]

Reviews |

Friendly Fire, by A.B. Yehoshua

A.B. Yehoshua never writes the shortcut phrase “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in Friendly Fire, his most recent novel, newly translated into English from Hebrew. It’s as though the veteran Israeli author is mining a seam so deep that its boundaries do not need to be explored or examined, or picking up a thread of conversation that Israelis have already been engaged in for 60 years. That isn’t to say, however, that Yehoshua has no comment on the matter.

Reviews |

YOU'VE GOT TO RE-READ THIS: Stotan!, by Chris Crutcher

I picked up Chris Crutcher’s Stotan! on an early-morning flight to Boston, ready to mock both the book and the 10-year-old version of myself who loved it. Starting with the exclamation point in the title and some early cumbersome exposition (which includes a very excellent and totally non-ironic mention of Tom Selleck as a sex symbol), I was sure the book would be dated and ridiculous and that I was in for a very good time. Of course, 180 pages later, I was in tears as I returned my tray table to the upright position.

Interviews |

Interview with Susannah Felts, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

Susannah Felts gets questioned about the line between fiction and autobiography on a regular basis. This speaks, she suggested, to a very real longing in readers to make that distinction. “We have this fascination with memoir,” she said. “We want to connect representations of reality to reality itself. There’s an insatiable need for that.”