“As anyone who has tried it knows, simply withholding information is no guarantee that the reader will continue patiently, or eagerly”: Peter Turchi on the strategic release of information in fiction, with assists from Colson Whitehead and Toni Morrison.
From the Archives: Colson Whitehead talks process in his 2009 novel, Sag Harbor, the art of manufacturing genuine nostalgia, and the duality of veering “between the capricious horribleness of the everyday and the absurd beauty of existence.”
We celebrate Valentine’s Day with an homage to the living dead: Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. Don’t fancy a date with scary slavering? No matter. Michael Rudin finds the novel reads like an existential valentine to New York City, and that’s something even a zombie can love.
At the Ann Arbor Book Festival, FWR’s Jeremiah Chamberlin talks with acclaimed novelist Colson Whitehead about the process of writing his latest book, Sag Harbor, the art of manufacturing genuine nostalgia, and the duality of veering “between the capricious horribleness of the everyday and the absurd beauty of existence.”
Colson Whitehead’s fourth novel, Sag Harbor, is driven not by plot but by time, by the fleetingness of summer and its constant reminder of that fleetingness. The beginning is slow, with the sense of months ahead, time to digress and ponder and imagine and internalize, with the thickest, most dense prose socked in the middle of July, the more desperate, urgent bursts as we careen toward Labor Day. The writing is wonderfully languorous throughout, like summer itself, and a perfect match for adolescence: unrestrained and indulgent but wonderfully self-conscious as well.
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