Louisa Hall’s debut novel, The Carriage House, works through the tensions children face in a family that values tradition over individual autonomy, while speaking to the dilemma of writing from—and reading about—the perspective of characters who are privileged.
My desk totem is a hundred-year-old children’s book. As a child, I knew its magic was true—the characters were too sharp not to be real. “What on earth is it?” Jane said. “Shall we take it home?” The thing turned its long eyes to look at her, and said: “Does she always talk such nonsense, or is it only the rubbish on her head that makes her silly?” It looked scornfully at Jane’s hat as it spoke. Meet the Psammead, a creature with stem-like eyes, found by five siblings on a country escape from London’s grit. It grants wishes by […]
When I send out submissions, I’m easily spooked. After receiving my 4,575th “positive rejection”—i.e., “Not a good fit this time… send more”—I wonder if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is mwa-ha-ha-ing behind the scenes: “Everyone Else is Going to Be Published. Die, Sucker.” Fortunately, better writers than me have endured the soul-sucking chill of the Dementor’s Kiss. My go-to writing mantra is a story about a Really Successful Writer (hereafter known as Harry Potter) told to me by my favorite writing mentor, whom I’ll call… Hermione Granger. Perhaps the story means so much because she believed in my work. When I can’t maintain faith […]
Robin Oliveira’s debut novel, My Name is Mary Sutter, tells the story of a woman hell-bent on becoming a surgeon at a time when no woman in this county had been admitted to medical school—during the Civil War. The novel’s richly described world both helps us imagine the setting and leads reviewer Helen Mallon to this question: How can research best represent a world in historical fiction?
In his debut story collection, Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (Knopf, 2009), acclaimed novelist Kazuo Ishiguro explores variations on temptations performers face: to deny their own humanity for the sake of high art, or career advancement.
Julian Mazor’s wonderful, unsung second collection of stories, Friend of Mankind published in 2004, thirty-six years after his first. Mazor’s elegant language evokes settings that are simultaneously a backdrop for and a mirror of his characters’ inner lives, and his compassion for these characters is almost physical. Click here to read the full review by Helen Mallon.
Julian Mazor’s wonderful, unsung second collection of stories, Friend of Mankind, published in 2004, thirty-six years after his first. Mazor’s elegant language evokes settings that are simultaneously a backdrop for and a mirror of his characters’ inner lives, and his compassion for these characters is almost physical.
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