“Accurate identification of the fictional form is important to readers and authors. But it also makes life easier for book reviewers who walk a tightrope between several different constituencies—the author, the publisher, and the reading public.” Sharon Oard Warner on the pleasures and particulars of the novella.
Rone Shavers talks with Karen Tei Yamashita about her National Book Award shortlisted novel I Hotel, and in the process the two touch on everything from the role of history and memory to the process of writing, to what one’s politics and culture says about the nature of storytelling itself.
Ever feel like reading genre without, you know, knowing what to expect? Cam Terwilliger on why Percival Everett’s Assumption—one volume, three mystery novellas—will kick your [ahem] assumptions to the curb.
Novels are like sensible, high-achieving older children. Short stories are the quirky, free-spirited, lovable babies of the family. And the oft-overlooked middle kid? In the writing world, that would be the novella. The novella has been getting a little more attention lately. The Booker Prize went to Julian Barnes’s 150-page A Sense of an Ending, prompting The Guardian to wonder if “is it not time for the novella once again to be out and proud?” But then again, it seems it’s always been almost the novella’s time to shine. Last summer, Taylor Antrim predicted on The Daily Beast that the […]
We spent all of May talking about short stories, and of course novels get plenty of love all year round. But what about that neglected misfit of the fiction world, the long story or novella? Big Fiction Magazine is a new literary journal dedicated to the long story. From their website: Big Fiction was created with the goal of providing a beautiful home for long fiction that otherwise would not find a place in traditional literary magazines. We are a new journal for literature at leisure—stories to curl up with for an afternoon (or pack along on your next journey), […]
Nobody advised Josh Weil to write three novellas for his first book, The New Valley, but that’s what he did. Mary Westbrook and the author talk about the stories behind the novellas and how well-intentioned advice can lead writers astray.
In both of the recent New York Times reviews of E.L. Doctorow’s new novel, Homer & Langley, which is based on the lives of the Collyer brothers, the reviewers go out of their way to point to other works drawn from the lives of these eccentric, hoarding bachelor shut-ins: Marcia Davenport’s My Brother’s Keeper, Richard Greenberg’s The Dazzle, Franz Lidz’s Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur, New York’s Greatest Hoarders, and a variety of other books, films, plays, and TV shows. In short: we are obsessed with the obsessed. Nowhere is this clearer than in Matt Bell’s The Collectors, which is also based on the lives of the Collyer brothers, and deserves to be added to this canon.
Over at The Fiction Desk, Rob explores why novellas might be ideal subjects for book bloggers; might this, in turn, inspire more novella-writing? Despite their increasing importance to the industry, bloggers don’t (or rarely) get paid, and so the time they can dedicate to their book coverage is limited by work and family commitments. On top of this, it’s important to keep blogs going with fresh new content, and if your content is book reviews, those hours can really add up. Novellas may be the perfect format: often as substantial as longer novels, more “newsworthy” than short stories as they’re […]
Welcome to Fiction Writers Review, an online literary journal by, for, and about emerging writers. more >