Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘fiction matters’

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Jonathan Franzen on the cover of TIME

Jonathan Franzen is on the cover of the August 23 issue of TIME Magazine, with an article marking the publication of his latest novel, Freedom. Since he’s the first living author to be so featured in over a decade (the last being Stephen King), it’s caused quite a stir in the lit world. In particular, the caption below Franzen’s photo is catching some snark. The L.A. Times notes: Franzen appears on the cover of the upcoming issue of Time magazine — an honor not extended to a living author since Stephen King in 2000 — with the words “Great American […]

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FWR on "Living Writers": The Podcast

Did you miss FWR Editor Jeremiah Chamberlin on the “Living Writers” show on Wednesday? No worries. You can now stream the podcast on iTunes preview—mouse over the August 11th episode and click play, or click “View in iTunes” to download. The interview starts at about 15:30. “Living Writers” airs every Wednesday at 4:30pm on WCBN-FM Ann Arbor. Each week, host T Hetzel talks with writers who read from their work and talk about their passions and preoccupations. Recent guests include poet Dean Young, author and comedian John Hodgman, fiction writer Yiyun Li, and Granta Editor John Freeman. You can listen […]

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FWR on WCBN-FM Wednesday at 4:30pm

We’re excited to announce that FWR Editor Jeremiah Chamberlin will be this week’s guest on “Living Writers”, hosted by T. Hetzel. “Living Writers” airs every Wednesday at 4:30pm on WCBN-FM Ann Arbor. Tune in to hear him discuss Fiction Writers Review, his own writing, the Inside Indie Bookstore series he publishes in Poets & Writers magazine, and other topics on writing. You can listen to the show at 88.3FM in Ann Arbor, or hear it streamed live at Recent guests include poet Dean Young, author and comedian John Hodgman, fiction writer Yiyun Li, and Granta Editor John Freeman. Archives […]

Interviews |

Learning About the Dark: An Interview with Ron Carlson

“Whatever you do, stay in the room.” So advises Ron Carlson in his book on the craft of writing, appropriately titled Ron Carlson Writes a Story. He knows what world exists on the other side of the door: a world full of televised sports, dirty dishes, iced mochachinos. A world full of distraction from the task at hand. Writing, he argues, is about staying in the room, pushing beyond the point where your eyes glaze over and your fingers refuse to type. That’s where the magic lies.

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"To travel paths that were unknown to me. To unlock new ideas to me. To be told a story. To entertain myself."

Why do people read fiction? That’s what one user asked recently on Metafilter, a popular community weblog: I don’t understand human behavior. Why do people read and watch fiction books and dramas? It seems like a waste of time. The question garnered over 50 responses—most of which were elegant and eloquent explanations of the value of fiction: from Ash3000: To know that a character is like us, and their inner life includes the same cringing that ours does – or, conversely, to know that they are utterly free of our thinking habits – provides an avenue wherein we can compare […]

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The Library of America's Story of the Week

Each week, The nonprofit Library of America offers a free short story, readable online in PDF form. The current “Story of the Week” is “The Charmed Life”< by Katherine Anne Porter. Other recent features include “Charles” by Shirley Jackson (who—yes!—wrote more than just “The Lottery”), the early story “The Cut-Glass Bowl” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Wives of the Dead” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Each story is also accompanied by some commentary that helps set the story in context. This seems like a great—and free—way to discover some lesser-known pieces by well-known American writers. See the current story and all […]

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So, What's Really Killing Fiction?

You may have already seen this essay by Ted Genoways, editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, blaming too many MFA programs and their “navel-gazing” writers for the sorry state of fiction these days: But the less commercially viable fiction became, the less it seemed to concern itself with its audience, which in turn made it less commercial, until, like a dying star, it seems on the verge of implosion. Indeed, most American writers seem to have forgotten how to write about big issues—as if giving two shits about the world has gotten crushed under the boot sole of postmodernism. Now, […]

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P&W's Inside Indie Bookstores: Women & Children First

In the newest installment of Poets & Writers magazine’s Inside Indie Bookstores series, FWR Associate Editor Jeremiah Chamberlin profiles Chicago’s fabulous Women & Children First bookstore, featuring an interview with the bookstore’s co-owner Linda Bubon. The online version (along with a slideshow of images from the store) is available at no cost on P&W‘s website…but if you want a print copy, Poets & Writers‘ special offer to Fiction Writers Review readers (only $12 for a year-long subscription) is still up for grabs; if you order through this page before May 15, you’ll get the current issue featuring Women & Children […]

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FWR @ AWP 2010

AWP 2010 in Denver is just days away, and Fiction Writers Review will be there. Stop by our table at the bookfair, sign up for our mailing list, win loot from the FWR store, and check out our panel with the editors of Waccamaw, The Emerging Writers Network/Dzanc, and storySouth on Saturday from noon to 1:15 (Granite Room: Hyatt Regency, 3rd Floor): S163. Evolution of the New Media: Online Literary Journals and Websites in 2010. (Dan Albergotti, Dan Wickett, Jeremiah Chamberlin, Terry Kennedy) This panel examines the evolution of online publishing and literary promotion via digital media in the 21st […]

Essays |

Every Line Matters: In Memory of Barry Hannah (1942-2010)

This morning I woke to hear the sad news that Barry Hannah had died. He was 67, and the apparent cause was a heart attack, according to the Jackson Free Press. Barry had had several bouts with cancer over the last ten years, yet I was still shocked to hear that he was gone. I guess I’d come to think of him as oddly invincible.