"Most fiction about Jewish immigrants takes place in New York. I wanted to explore a different setting." Lisa Peet interviews Ronna Wineberg about On Bittersweet Place.
Of all the literary genres, poetry has proved the most resistant to digital technology, not for stodgy cultural reasons but for tricky mechanical ones.
You may have heard that our own Emily St. John Mandel has a new book on shelves. The book depicts a post-apocalyptic future in which a group of nomadic actors deal with the aftermath of a devastating flu pandemic. Claire Cameron (who’s also written for The Millions) reviews the book for The Globe and Mail.
Ever since the Man Booker prize was opened up to American writers, there’s been a renewed debate about America’s contributions to the literary scene. Many people have wondered who past Bookers would have gone to had American authors been eligible. At The Guardian, a roundtable including Year in Reading alum Joshua Ferris, Curtis Sittenfeld, Edna O’Brien and Martin Amis pick American books they think would have won if they’d had the chance. You could also read Joanna Scutts on the history of the prize.
For structure: Choose a story you admire and want to understand more deeply from a craft perspective. Read it several times. Read it as many times as you can stomach. Outline it paragraph-by-paragraph, section-by-section. What happens in each paragraph? What is the function of that paragraph? If the story is divided into sections, what is the purpose of each of those sections? Then write your own story using the outline of the story you admire. This is not a quick exercise. Give yourself time to read, think, process, and write deliberately. Give yourself a week or two.
The Millennial generation of writers can learn from Keegan in that she allowed herself to sound and to be fully 22, to explore what that meant and to celebrate the value of a young perspective, but never sounded like she was writing a generic think-piece on ‘What It’s Like to Be Young Today.’
Sometimes, it’s easier to read or watch something that’s light and airy, as opposed to seeking out art that challenges your perspective. Millions contributor Fiona Maazel generally thinks of herself as a person who instinctively chose nuance over breeziness. But lately, she’s had to ask herself a tough question — is she actually more attracted to the anodyne?