Last week at Brooklyn’s BookCourt, Colum McCann read from his latest novel, TransAtlantic. Another high-wire act of death-defying fiction, spanning several centuries and continents, the novel was also long-listed last week for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. McCann answered audience questions about craft, and his career since he himself arrived in New York City from Ireland two decades ago.
Most of my writing experience is in the first and second person. Up until now my biggest project was a coming-of-age novel in the first person and a dozen or so stories, all but two written in the first or second person. So it came as a surprise (a most welcome one) that the new novel that I am working on appears—45-pages in—to require three alternating close third-person narrators. In the opening pages, my narrators are alone and the drama takes place more in their thoughts than in dramatic scenes. So I set out to look for how other writers make this type of scenario work. Continue reading From First to Third: Writing a Character Alone with Her Thoughts
I have less than $1000 in the bank and no credit card debt and no savings. I am hoping that my new book will sell in the States and elsewhere in the new year to save me. – Author, Sheila Heti from Miranda July’s email project, We Think Alone.
Do you ever type an entire question into Google? I’ll often search for something exactly as it entered my head, naked in verbatim ambiguity or cut like a key with jagged minutiae. This indolent reliance on social media worries me, especially in regards to an eroding command of vocabulary. However, there is base-camp relief reached when a question of mine has been navigated before, despite 15% of Google’s searches being new each day. Thanks to Autocomplete, I know that I’m not curious alone. Continue reading Google Autocomplete and the Collective (Literary) Unconscious
After Tao Lin’s reading at Skylight on June 20th the entire audience – and the place was packed – fell absolutely silent. This usually doesn’t happen at a reading. Sure, there’s a moment when the audience doesn’t know who is going to ask what first and the extroverted writers are giving a moment for the more introverted ones to get their hands up first. But this time I think we all were in complete shock because we had no idea what we could possibly ask. Continue reading Tao Lin as Metafiction in Person