Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Jackie Reitzes’

Shop Talk |

Staff Picks: Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin

As a fiction writer, I have a litmus test for knowing if a book is one I love love love versus one that is merely admirable. A book that is truly fantastic for me is one that also makes me want to write. It’s not that I go into the reading experience looking to be bitten by contagious writing. But I’ve found that when I read certain writers—Jennifer Egan, Jo Ann Beard, Susan Minot, to name a few—the reverie of their prose is so intense, so real, that I find myself wanting to continue the conversation on my side of […]

Shop Talk |

The Risky Email Test

This is a little revision device I’ve whipped up to try to tell if a paragraph or page or section is too soft or vulnerable, if it needs to be edited out. Or if it’s too autobiographical in a way that could lead to questioning from my grandmother’s bridge club. You know how, after you’ve sent a risky email–maybe to someone you’re desperately in love with, or to your boss, or to a professor to lay into him a little bit when you aren’t really allowed to do that–there’s this feeling you get that maybe you should have waited until […]

Reviews |

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

In her first novel, Swamplandia! (Knopf, 2011), acclaimed short story writer Karen Russell (St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves) renders a highly specific shoebox-world of wonder and mystery. Set in the Florida swamps, largely within a fictional alligator theme park, the sun rises and sets with her lush yet economical descriptions and poignant characterizations of the 14-year-old protagonist, Ava, and her rapidly dissolving family.