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Exploring the art of fiction

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The Diarist: Kathryn Scanlan’s AUG 9—FOG

June 11, 2019

  By J.A. Tyler • Other people’s diaries. Strangers. Their words inked across aged paper. Where did it come from? How did it get here? Who owned it, who read it? Hunt on eBay and one could be headed your…

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Interview: Wendy J. Fox

June 4, 2019

  Wendy J. Fox’s recent novel, If the Ice Had Held, out now from Santa Fe Writers Project, explores the secrets of a Colorado family and how far its members have gone to keep them. Told in alternating perspectives, the…

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Interview: Nancy Stohlman

May 28, 2019

Nancy Stohlman’s new book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, is a dizzying array of flash and vignette stories that put the reader behind the scenes of vaudeville and freak show acts from the era of traveling circuses. If you’ve ever…

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The Uncanny: Joanna Pearson’s EVERY HUMAN LOVE

May 14, 2019

  By Nick Fuller Googins • Snooping through my father’s desk at age twelve, I discovered a bundle of papers related to our very old house. Within this bundle was a photocopy of a newspaper article from the 1800s, which…

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What’s in a Name? Only Everything

May 7, 2019

  By Aaron Hamburger • One of the most vexing tasks fiction writers face is naming their characters. Over the years, I’ve heard of writers searching for names in baby books, phone books (back when people had phone books), and…

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A Closer Look: MEANDER, SPIRAL, EXPLODE

April 23, 2019

  I hope…that thinking about patterns other than the arc will become natural, that evolving writers won’t feel oppressed by the arc, that they’ll imagine visual aspects of narrative as well as temporal, that they’ll discover ways to design, being…

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Myth Made New: Madeline Miller’s CIRCE

April 16, 2019

  By Tim Weed • Like her debut, The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s Circe offers readers a fresh and defamiliarized retelling of classical Greek mythology. It’s a retelling informed by the author’s thorough knowledge of the subject and energized…

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Joke-Telling in Lorrie Moore’s “You’re Ugly, Too”

March 19, 2019

  By Kate Kaplan • People tell jokes to attract attention or deflect it, to express a point of view, to connect, to offend, or in the hope of shared laughter. Some people (disclosure: me) tell jokes to themselves, rehearsing…

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Theatre Novel: Joseph Scapellato’s THE MADE-UP MAN

March 12, 2019

  By Mike Corrao •  Joseph Scapellato’s The Made-Up Man, released in February by FSG, centers on the protagonist, Stanley’s participation in an exploitative performance piece coordinated by his wealthy Czech-based uncle. Invited to apartment-sit in Prague, Stanley bears witness…

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The Ears and Noses of Beholders in THE PRICE OF SALT

February 19, 2019

  By Candace Walsh • As thousands of tweets and several articles attest, women have grown weary of the way many male writers describe female characters: zooming in on their body parts with a Porky’s-gaze, to the exclusion of describing…

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