Tag Archives: Fiction

The Deportees

I picked up Roddy Doyle’s The Deportees at San Francisco’s recent MLA convention because one of the stories had been published in the same edition of McSweeney’s as a story of mine, and I’d been curious about Doyle ever since … Continue reading

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This Side of Brightness

This Side of Brightness is one of the most lyrically gorgeous novels I’ve read in quite some time, with quietly lovely and delicate sentences and descriptions that reveal their subjects’ inherent dignity and grace, whether those subjects are 1920s “sandhogs” … Continue reading

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The Braindead Megaphone

In a frenzy of eleventh hour book-buying at December’s MLA convention (“All paperbacks three dollars!  Everything must go!”) I picked up The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders, which became my book of choice for the long flight back to Chicago.  … Continue reading

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The Master Butcher’s Singing Club

I’m working on a novel right now dealing heavily with music, and was originally attracted to Louise Erdrich’s The Master Butcher’s Singing Club based on its content–I wanted to see how another writer handled music, in both its description and … Continue reading

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Poachers

By Tom Franklin I learned a lot at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.  One thing I learned, for example, is that apparently everyone–at some point in their writing career–will meet and like Tom Franklin.  Whether they interviewed him for an article, … Continue reading

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A Feast of Snakes

This one was so tonally divergent from what I’ve been reading that it took me awhile to wrap my mind around it, but I ultimately decided that the book succeeds on a variety of levels.  The plot  seems familiar at … Continue reading

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The Hunters

by Claire Messud Another Sewanee writer (once the conference is over I’ll go back to reading non-Sewanee folks, I swear), Claire Messud has written an understated, deceptively simple pair of novellas entitled The Hunters, and while each story is strong … Continue reading

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Let the Dead Bury Their Dead

by Randall Kennan Kennan is another Sewanee Writer, and several stories in this collection–which focuses on African American culture in the fictional town of Tims Creek, South Carolina–were very well done.  One of my favorites included The Foundations of the … Continue reading

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Jim the Boy

by Tony Earley Earley, who teaches out of Vanderbilt, is attending this year’s Sewenee conference, and his debut novel Jim the Boy (which focuses on a young boy’s coming of age in a small, turn of the century Carolina town) … Continue reading

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In Persuasion Nation

by George Saunders I’ve spent some time recently figuring out how to assemble a collection (how pieces fit together; whether there should be a chronological/ thematic progression) and Saunders’ book is a fine example of stories reinforcing one another. For … Continue reading

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