“If memory is a museum to which we all repeatedly return, then perhaps David’s anguish is the price of admission he must pay to keep Imogen alive in the only way the dead can be kept alive.” Travis Holland reviews Jonathan Buckley’s novel The Great Concert of the Night.
“What a bitch of a thing prose is!” Gustave Flaubert wrote in a letter to his lover Louise Colet in 1852. “It’s never finished; there’s always something to redo. Yet I think one can give it the consistency of verse. A good sentence in prose should be like a good line in poetry, unchangeable, as rhythmic, as sonorous.” In this essay, contributing editor Travis Holland meditates on Flaubert’s influence and legacy in fiction.
In this lively conversation, Travis Holland and author Richard Ford discuss the genesis of Ford’s most famous fictional character, Frank Bascombe, the importance of always remembering the reader, greeting cards, what could well be one of the greatest short stories of the 20th century, and why place in fiction means nothing.
Travis Holland talks with fiction master Tobias Wolff about the pleasures and anxieties of influence, the changing societal role of writer-celebrities, and the reasons Wolff has “always been attracted to the incisiveness, velocity, exactitude, precision of the short story.”
Even if you haven’t read his interview with Tobias Wolff or Jeremy’s interview with him on FWR, I hope you’ve all read Travis Holland’s astoundingly good, non-debutish debut novel The Archivist’s Story–which is now on the Impac Dublin shortlist, chosen over the works of literary heavyweights like Coetzee and Roth. Courtesy of the Guardian, here’s the full shortlist; the winner (who wins an award of €100,000) will be announced on June 11, 2009. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz Ravel by Jean Echenoz The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid The Archivist’s Story by Travis Holland The […]
Travis Holland’s first novel, The Archivist’s Story (2007, Dial Press), is set in Stalinist Russia in 1939. The book has been translated into eleven languages and has received numerous accolades, including: a Guardian Readers’ Pick of 2007, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, a Best Fiction of 2007 choice by Metro.co.uk, a Best Book of 2007 by both the Financial Times and Publisher’s Weekly, and the 2008 VCU Cabell First novelist award. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, where he is at work on his next novel. Jeremiah Chamberlin spoke with him for FWR on December 18, 2008.
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