Posts Tagged: Ploughshares

The Empathy of Latin America

By

I can’t say I was surprised by the level of empathy my barber expressed for the victims of the Paris attacks, though I was intrigued by the empathy of a man whose daily life is so intertwined with the drug wars in Mexico, a war that has (by conservative estimates) claimed over 165,000 lives and disappeared over 27,000 people and 88 journalists, most notably Rubén Espinosa and Nadia Vera who were both savagely murdered in the Narvarte neighborhood of Mexico City earlier this year.

...more

An End Has a Start

By

At the Ploughshares blog, E. V. De Cleyre considers the many ways to find the right moment to end a nonfiction story:

The aftermath, Cusk writes, is “life with knowledge of what has gone before.” Writers are not seers. Armed with the “knowledge of what has gone before,” we mold events, truths, into narrative, and hope and know that the last punctuation mark is not the end, but the invitation to begin again.

...more

Reading on Reading on Reading

By

For Ploughshares, Clare Beams talks about the strange effect of reading a story in which someone reads a story:

Paintings of people looking at paintings, like this one, can make me fall into a dizzy sort of hole. Gazing at the painting to find, there, painted people gazing at a painting, suddenly I’m not quite sure where I’m actually standing, where the line between me and the painting is.

...more

Your Next Story

By

WRITER: Thank you. Thank you. Really. Because my whole problem is I’m incapable of noticing things I might want to write about. I walk through this world blind, and it’s not till helpful people shove things in my face and suggest that I write about them that I ever have an idea.

...more

Rescuing Asian Art from American Artists

By

Generations of American writers have approached Asian cultures with the best of intentions but repeatedly missed the mark. How can we rescue Asian artists and thinkers like Hokusai from our own desire to experience them as foreign? How can we experience Hokusai not as the Japanese artist, not as one of the roots of European Japonisme, not as a spiritual guide, but just as a person who made some art?

...more

Playing a Book

By

When I got older, I discovered that this sense of play wasn’t limited to the young. There were plenty of adults out there writing radically experimental books formally guided by the notion that a book could be more than a book—it could be a vexing puzzle, a winding labyrinth, a stubborn gauntlet, a spooky carnival full of creaky rides, even a sandbox.

...more

Notes on Craft

By

“Craft” is a fluid term; used in aeronautics and astronautics to speak of a single vessel, or the skill of deception, or a verb analogous to “make.” Craft in literature is comprised of narrative elements and literary devices: the nuts and bolts of what makes a story a story.

...more