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CRAFT ESSAYS, ELEMENTS, and TALKS

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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The Queer Gaze and the Ineffable in THE PRICE OF SALT

January 22, 2019

  By Candace Walsh • I almost didn’t read Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, one of the most influential, relevant, and exquisite novels I’ve ever encountered. Why? I felt like it would be dated. I thought that I should…

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How to Link Up a Short Story Collection: A Fairy Tale

December 18, 2018

By Micah Perks • A reader recently emailed me about my new collection of linked short stories, True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape: she appreciated “all the tiny details, like breadcrumbs that you sprinkled along the way. Reading…

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It Happened Here: Setting in Natashia Deón’s GRACE

December 7, 2018

By Melissa Benton Barker • Natashia Deón’s novel, Grace, is a both a warcry against and a lament upon the violence inflicted on the Black female body under the conditions of slavery in the United States. The novel is narrated…

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Free Indirect Speech

November 27, 2018

By Laura Nicoara • So she would still find herself arguing in St. James’s Park, still making out that she had been right—and she had too—not to marry him. For in marriage a little licence [sic], a little independence there…

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The Art of Time in David Gates’s “Banishment”

October 30, 2018

By Amber Wheeler Bacon • David Gates doesn’t recommend flashbacks to new writers when he’s teaching fiction. When line editing a student’s piece, he cuts pretty much every flashback he sees. I know because he cut plenty of mine when…

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Daisy Johnson’s Cauldron: Realism & Fairy Tale Logic in “Albatross”

October 26, 2018

By Amelia Brown • Daisy Johnson is quite obviously inspired by folklore in her debut collection of stories, Fen—her pages are home to sentient objects, immortal monsters, and animal transformations galore. In fact, Johnson’s stories pledge their allegiance to two narrative…

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Reaching Out: Endings of Joy Williams

October 15, 2018

By Elizabeth Mayer • Death and loss and decay pervade the stories of Joy Williams’s collection Escapes. If a character is not facing the immediacy of their own death, often they are mourning the loss of someone close to them. Yet…

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The Art of Description in A.S. Byatt’s “The Chinese Lobster”

October 11, 2018

By Chaya Bhuvaneswar • The display is brightly lit, and arranged on a carpet of that fierce emerald-green artificial grass used by greengrocers and undertakers. Round the edges on open shells, is a border of raw scallops, the pearly flesh dulling,…

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A Closer Look: WARNINGS FROM THE FUTURE

September 27, 2018

Warnings From the Future is a debut collection of ten short stories by Ethan Chatagnier, published by Acre Books. Chatagnier is clearly interested in playing with form in his work, and a number of these stories allow the form and…

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