“We are always in a particular place at a particular time. As much as we might want to treat our first observations as essential, they remain unreal until they are embodied.” Michael Hinken talks with Salvatore Scibona about his new novel, The Volunteer.
Any story I consider a favorite stirs up in me feelings of envy and wonder. “A Father’s Story,” by Andre Dubus, has this effect. On the first count, it’s the I-sure-wish-I’d-written-that moment. If you write and if you read, you know this feeling. Think early motivations. Maybe that feeling—we could dress it up and call it admiration, but that seems too mild—led you to write in the first place. Envy being the mother of imitation, maybe, hypothetically, it led you to write a story about a vampire gerbil that sucked fruit white. Gerbacula. Maybe you are very, very sorry about […]
Step One: Leave home. Three fellows from the Sozopol Fiction Seminar consider questions of travel, culture, and translation. Part I: John Struloeff on international diplomacy and collaboration, Jane E. Martin on finding home abroad, and Michael Hinken on how we rediscover home by leaving it. Later this week: Molly Antopol and Lee Romer Kaplan.
The Half-Known World, Robert Boswell’s collection of essays on the craft of fiction writing, is also driving-idea behind his conversation with Michael Hinken. In it Boswell discusses the power of writing better sentences, characterization as jazz, the narrative brain versus the linear brain, the value of writing fifty drafts and other mysteries and wonders of the half-known world.
Author of the recently published short story collection Elephants in Our Bedroom, Michael Czyzniejewski grew up in the Chicago suburb of Calumet City, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1995 with a degree in rhetoric, and two years later, he received an MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University.
Michael Hinken asks Young Lions Fiction Award winner Salvatore Scibona about the story behind his first novel, The End. Scibona emphasizes the value of writing from habit (rather than discipline), discusses his own process, and shares why he recently built a worm farm.
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