Travis Holland is the author of The Archivist’s Story(Dial Press), a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. In 2007, The Archivist’s Story was listed among the best books of the year by Publisher’s Weekly and the Financial Times, and was a GuardianReaders’ Pick. Travis is the winner of the 2008 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and has been nominated for the 2009 Impac Dublin prize. His stories have previously appeared in Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Five Points,and The Quarterly. He lives in Ann Arbor.
“None of us knows what these coming months will bring.” Travis Holland revisits William Maxwell’s 1937 novel, They Came Like Swallows, set during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, meditating on stillness, absence, and memory during the current crisis.
“If memory is a museum to which we all repeatedly return, then perhaps David’s anguish is the price of admission he must pay to keep Imogen alive in the only way the dead can be kept alive.” Travis Holland reviews Jonathan Buckley’s novel The Great Concert of the Night.
“What a bitch of a thing prose is!” Gustave Flaubert wrote in a letter to his lover Louise Colet in 1852. “It’s never finished; there’s always something to redo. Yet I think one can give it the consistency of verse. A good sentence in prose should be like a good line in poetry, unchangeable, as rhythmic, as sonorous.” In this essay, contributing editor Travis Holland meditates on Flaubert’s influence and legacy in fiction.
This week’s feature is Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward. Published last month by Bloomsbury, the book is Ward’s second novel. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed novel Where the Line Bleeds, which was an Essence Magazine Book Club selection, a Black Caucus of the ALA Honor Award recipient, and a finalist for both the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. A Stegner Fellow at Stanford from 2008 to 2010, Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards for essays, drama, and fiction. She was the 2010-2011 […]
In this lively conversation, Travis Holland and author Richard Ford discuss the genesis of Ford’s most famous fictional character, Frank Bascombe, the importance of always remembering the reader, greeting cards, what could well be one of the greatest short stories of the 20th century, and why place in fiction means nothing.
How often does it happen? Once or twice, maybe? You’re in a bookstore, you’re at the library, drifting among the stacks, your eye glazed over not with boredom but indecision, because you simply cannot decide what it is you want to read next. Reading something next, that’s the easy part, particularly if you’re one of those readers for whom the prospect of not reading something, anything, is just, well, unthinkable. You read one book or one story, and when you’ve finished that, you read another. It’s like breathing in a way, one breath and then another, and another. But on […]
Travis Holland talks with fiction master Tobias Wolff about the pleasures and anxieties of influence, the changing societal role of writer-celebrities, and the reasons Wolff has “always been attracted to the incisiveness, velocity, exactitude, precision of the short story.”
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