Authors Dish on Their First Time

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As a first time novelist, I thought it would be fun to read what people had said about my book [on Amazon]… One of them said that it read like an MFA exercise. And that really hurt, because it was an MFA exercise.

That’s J. Robert Lennon, author of The Secret History, talking about writing his first novel, The Light of Falling Stars. In its new series, “My First Time,” the Paris Review features authors, including Gabrielle Bell and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, speaking about their first experiences writing and publishing work.


You can find Charley Locke's journalism on WIRED, tweets @CHARLEY_LOCKE, and drawings on her parents' fridge. You can also sometimes spot Charley imperiously making book recommendations while managing the McSweeney's Pop-Up Shops. More from this author →