Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘novels’

Shop Talk |

Shields and Cooperman’s Very Brief Apocalypse

David Shields is a very lucky man. I think that most of us, when we enjoy something that everyone else seems to hate (or when we dislike a thing that they all love), feel a twinge of nervousness, a quiver of doubt. Perhaps we feel superior and isolated at the same time, wondering why we, in this case, appear so separate from the crowd. Not David Shields. One of the most notable qualities of both his 2010 book Reality Hunger, and his recent essay, “Life is Short: Art is Shorter,” co-authored with Elizabeth Cooperman, in the Feb 2013 issue of […]

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 |

How to Hatch a Novel

Most writing classes revolve around the workshop—but the workshop format, in which participants usually read 25-30 pages of a student’s work and then critique it as a group, is ill-suited to the novel form, where 30 pages may not even be a full chapter. Is there a better way to give feedback on a novel-in-progress? Grub Street, Boston’s independent writing center, aims to find out with an experimental new course dubbed the “Novel Incubator.” (Disclaimer: I have taught for Grub Street, but have not been involved in the novel course.) Billing itself as a “year-long MFA-level course, team-taught by two […]

Interviews |

Letting Tinkerbell Die: An Interview with Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem discusses our unwillingness to let go of the Tinkerbell-myth of benevolent power, MFA programs, the idea of New York City as a Ponzi scheme, why in some ways subcultures are all that exist, and his past and future work in this wide-ranging interview with Roohi Choudhry.