Posts Tagged: Electric Literature

This Week in Short Fiction

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On Wednesday evening, Phil Klay’s Redeployment won the National Book Award for fiction, making it the first short story collection to win the award since Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever in 1996. That’s 18 years. But what’s maybe more startling is that the collection, which takes multiple perspectives of people involved in and returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, stands nearly alone as a fictional account that has risen to the national level of attention since the war in Afghanistan began in 2003.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Think of the most complicated and intriguing people you have ever met. Think of the way it feels to return to those people again and again, each time finding some new facet of truth, beauty, insight, originality. Michael Cunningham’s “White Angel” is a story like one of those people.  First published in the New Yorker in 1988, the story later grew into Cunningham’s 1990 novel and the 2004 movie, A Home at the End of the World.

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Propitiated Reading

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What I as a young enthusiast took for pell-mell freedom and chaos is in fact the result of careful orchestration and staging, within individual stories and in terms of the collection as a whole. This doesn’t mean the work is without its excesses—or that it doesn’t, at times, scan to me as self-indulgent, repetitive, inscrutable, etc.—but if you had asked me, before I revisited this book, why I no longer read Vollmann, I would have phrased my answer in terms of losing my tolerance for a certain kind of sloppiness; but now, having had my reunion, I must say that my complaints about Vollmann are not to be phrased in terms of his qualities as a writer but rather in terms of my taste as a reader.

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Been Here Before

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After years of anxious separation, people are finally relaxing about the literary/genre fiction divide. Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll asks: now what?

We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror (or science fiction, or fantasy) with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye…But now that we’ve gotten past that, there’s another question raised by fiction that falls into the realm of, for lack of a more graceful term, literary horror: how does it deal with our expectations of both of its literary forebears?

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v.

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Writing Like Someone You Haven’t Yet Read

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Of course you don’t have to read an author’s work to have to deal with their influence. Major figures like Faulkner, Pynchon, Bolaño, and David Foster Wallace cast such a wide shadow that they’re a liability for every writer today. You can’t write except by writing against them, trying to get out from under, not least because even if you haven’t read them your potential readers have, so the risk of having failed to negotiate their influence is unavoidable.

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In Cahoots

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Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. Sherwood Anderson and William and Faulkner. Henry James and Edith Warton. And now, X… and you!

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs just announced the establishment of a mentorship program starting in September. As stated on their community page, they are giving special consideration to applicants of backgrounds “typically underrepresented in the literary world” who are unaffiliated with MFA programs, but encourage everyone set on improving their craft to apply.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Playing off of Jerry Seinfeld’s video series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” The Morning News introduced a new column earlier this month called “Novelists in Restaurants Eating Food.” Roxane Gay offered up the first samplingand this Wednesday, Jami Attenburg contributed the second, “Café de la Esquina.” Should there be doubts as to the genre of the review/not review, the editors left a hashtag-fiction indicator at the bottom for us.

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All the Poor Young Literary Women

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Earlier this year, Emily Gould wrote about the perils of selling her first book, an essay collection, and the importance of getting out of debt before finishing her novel. That novel, Friendship, launches next week. Gould spoke with Melissa Duclos over at Electric Literature about the writing process, her electronic bookstore Emily Books, and of course, money:

The finances are important, too.

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