Posts Tagged: fiction

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The Rumpus Interview with Frederick Barthelme

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Frederick Barthelme talks about his new novel, There Must Be Some Mistake, life after teaching, and why food from the Olive Garden is “execrable in the best possible way.”

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The Rumpus Interview with Wayne Harrison

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Wayne Harrison discusses his debut novel, The Spark and the Drive, fiction, working as a correctional officer, and Carl Benz’s three-wheeled Motor Car.

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The Rumpus Interview with Rebecca Makkai

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Rebecca Makkai talks about ghosts, teaching, chronology in writing, and her new novel, The Hundred-Year House.

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The Rumpus Interview with Richard Ford

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Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Richard Ford discusses his new book, Let Me Be Frank With You, how metaphor shapes our world, and why he doesn’t like the idea he has a battery to recharge.

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The Rumpus Interview with Damien Ober

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Damien Ober discusses the Declaration of Independence, Internet viruses in the eighteenth century, and his new novel Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America.

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Creativity Is Messy

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Technically perfect writing is important when it comes to journalism or nonfiction, and especially helpful when writing with short deadlines. Fiction writing is different though. Nicole Bernier, over at Beyond the Margins, explains why grammatically sloppy writing might be the product of greater creativity:

Sometimes when creative writers say they don’t notice their own typos, it has a whiff of, well, humblebraggery.

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The Devil Finds Work

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Combining The Exorcist, New Jersey, and James Baldwin, among other things, Nick Ripatrazone reviews William Giraldi’s new novel, Hold the Dark, at The Millions. He contemplates Giraldi’s place in contemporary Catholic literature, using his fiction, alongside Cormac McCarthy’s and Christopher Beha’s, to draw larger claims on religion, the manifestations of Satan, and realism.

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The Theory of Trickle-Up Literacy

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One does not pass from lower to higher. On the contrary one might perfectly well fall from the higher to the lower, or simply read both, as many people eat both good food and junk food, the only problem being that the latter can be addictive; by constantly repeating the same gratifying formula (the litmus test of genre fiction) it stimulates and satisfies a craving for endless sameness, to the point that the reader can well end up spending all the time he has available for reading with exactly the same fare.

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Dr. Critic and Mr. Novelist

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Can a good critic be a good novelist too? Daniel Mendelsohn and Leslie Jamison, who both have written both fiction and non-fiction, answer this question in the weekly Bookend column for the New York Times’s Sunday Review.

Though their ideas differ, the two authors ultimately share the same point of view, summed up in Jamison’s statement that, “We seem to have more patience for the novelist who writes criticism (Henry James, Virginia Woolf) than for the critic who writes novels (Susan Sontag, Lionel Trilling).”

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Fiction or Non fiction: That is the question

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Is it true that nowadays nonfiction is more relevant than fiction?

Pankaj Mishra and Rivka Galchen answer the question and both their answers are dissimilar.

Mishra answers, “Even writers working within the old verities of stability and coherence — we cannot do without some of them — continue to produce persuasive fictions.”

Galchen observes, “Fiction and nonfiction do tend to deploy different methods for getting to the truth.

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Our Future Depends On Reading!

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“Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.”

Neil Gaiman offers strong words at The Guardian on why libraries, reading, and daydreaming is vital to our future.

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