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CRAFT ESSAYS, ELEMENTS, and TALKS

Hybrid Interview: Megan Cummins

September 15, 2020

  Framing the Stories: If the Body Allows It by Megan Cummins Essay by Laura Spence-Ash • The architecture of If the Body Allows It, Megan Cummins’s stunning debut story collection, is unique: there are two sets of stories within…

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Master of the Touching Detail: Emmanuel Bove, the Ultimate Writer’s Writer

September 8, 2020

  By Peter Selgin • Beckett said of him, “More than anyone else he has the instinct for the touching detail.” Anyone who has read the works of Emmanuel Bove (1898–1945) would agree. This is especially the case with Bove’s…

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Practicing the Ecstatic: On the Value of Escapist Fiction in the Internet Age

August 18, 2020

  By Tim Weed • Ours is an age of online media. We imbibe great doses of it through our laptops and smartphones and large-screen TVs. With the help of algorithmically informed techniques that are addictive and sometimes close to…

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Thick with Noir: Tom Lutz’s BORN SLIPPY

August 11, 2020

  By Sean Hooks • “A drunk sees the world in fragments and I wanted to recreate that,” says Karl Hyde of pioneering British electronica outfit Underworld. “The first time we played it live, people raised their lager cans and…

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Art of the Opening: Laura van den Berg

August 4, 2020

  A friend tells you a story. It makes you pause each time you enter the bathroom, eyes sliding to the linen closet. Each time you pull a fresh bath towel from the shelf, the warm musk of cedar reaching…

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An Analysis of the Narrative Voice in Yoko Ogawa’s THE DIVING POOL

July 28, 2020

  By Geoffrey Miller • A different woman character narrates each of the trio of novellas in Yoko Ogawa’s collection The Diving Pool. In the opening, titular piece there’s Aya, a school-aged girl living at a countryside orphanage run by…

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This or That: Simultaneity in John O’Hara’s BUTTERFIELD 8

July 7, 2020

  By Ian Randall Wilson • When I wrote in third person, it was in third-person close. The concerns of simultaneity didn’t occupy much of my attention. There may be a flaw in my thinking here, but my reasoning was…

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The Grind: Revelatory Repetition in Edward P. Jones’s “An Orange Line Train to Ballston”

June 30, 2020

  By Alyson Mosquera Dutemple • In the very first line of his story “An Orange Line Train to Ballston,” Edward P. Jones signals to readers to expect repetition and recurrence throughout the rest of the piece: “The first time…

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On (Not) Writing the Bar Story Part II: The Instructor

June 24, 2020

  By Mike Goodwin • In my brief career teaching fiction workshops, the bar story has appeared too often as a genre vying for literariness. Students have written about debauchery at house parties, barns, parks, cemeteries, and, of course, bars.…

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On (Not) Writing the Bar Story Part I: The Amateur Writer

June 23, 2020

  By Mike Goodwin • I once earned a well-deserved reaming for my writing an awful story involving who I viewed as lower-class patrons inhabiting a dive bar. The narrative too often emphasized these characters giving each other the business…

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