LitStack Recs: How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One & American Elsewhere

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How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One, by Stanley Fish For writers, the sentence is the coin of the realm, the catch that holds a reader fast to a story. And I love that Stanley Fish wrote a book just about sentences.  A professor of law and dean emeritus at [….]

Litstaff Recs: How Fiction Works & Love Is Love

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How Fiction Works,  by James Wood. When it comes to books on the craft of writing, I tend to gravitate to titles that teach through close readings of literature. Maybe it has to do with the grad program I attended, or that when I’m caught up in a book, I’m both figuring out my response [….]

LitStack Rec: A Writer’s Notebook & Thunder Boy, Jr.

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A Writer’s Notebook by Somerset Maugham Somerset Maugham’s A Writer’s Notebook was first published in 1949, and though his work may have since fallen out of fashion, in his time he was a literary light, outselling contemporaries like Joseph Conrad and Robert Louis Stevenson—The Guardian called Maugham “the first superstar novelist.” At the age of [….]

LitStack Rec: Crash Course & The Library at Mount Char

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Crash Course: essays from where writing and life collide, by Robin Black The third book from short story writer and novelist Robin Black collects her recent essays, many of which first appeared on the great, and sadly erstwhile literary blog, Beyond the Margins. Crash Course, subtitled essays from where writing and life collide, is aptly [….]

LitStack Rec: How to Read a Sentence… & The Butcher of Anderson Station

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How to Read a Sentence and How to Write One, by Stanley Fish The sentence is the coin of the realm, the catch that keeps a reader securely in a story, and Stanley Fish wrote a book just about sentences.  A professor of law and dean emeritus at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences [….]

LitStack Recs: How to Write a Sentence: And How To Read One & My Father’s Arms Are a Boat

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How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One, by Stanley Fish The sentence is the coin of the realm, the catch that holds a reader fast to a story. And I love that Stanley Fish wrote a book just about sentences.  A professor of law and dean emeritus at the College [….]

Traveling Light: Unpacking a Story

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So there I am, in a small hotel between the Costa Brava and Sitges, once again unpacking the bag I’ve carried through France and Spain. It’s been five weeks, and by now the contents are painfully familiar: five t-shirts, two pairs of shorts, and various smaller items, including an excellent pair of sandals purchased on [….]

LitStack Recs: A Writer’s Notebook & Dangerous Women

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A Writer’s Notebook by Somerset Maugham Like most writers, I keep a notebook. It’s small and transportable, since the point is to record in the moment—things seen in passing, or sentences that arise unexpectedly, the kind that must be put down before they vanish. I also like to keep track of words, ones  unexpectedly found [….]

Emerging Author Interview: Anthony Huso

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Knowing that a B.A. in English wasn’t likely to land him a good-paying job, Anthony Huso did the only thing he could think of: he got the degree as quickly and cheaply as he could. Having dreamt of being an author since age eight, he reveled in his classes until June of 1996 when, after [….]

The Mid-Sentence Twist

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Ron Carlson, in his book “Ron Carlson Writes a Story,” advises the writer to “introduce a character by considering the least likely thing he or she may do. How can the character surprise us?” This element of surprise comes from the writer’s choice to write against the grain, to write counter to prevailing drift of [….]