Living With Uncertainty While Writing a Book

One of the terrific life-enhancing challenges (effing growth experiences!) of writing a book is that it creates a long-term and continuous state of uncertainty in the writer’s psyche. While you write the first couple of drafts, the following questions are always present: • Is it worth writing? • Can I write it? • Can I … [Read more…]

The Sample Edit

I have been lucky enough to enjoy a good (if fleeting) relationship with many of the writers who’ve asked me for a sample edit. One of those is Alex Clermont, whose work includes Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely. Alex got in touch with me about his new collection, New York Stories. He didn’t end up … [Read more…]

Book Review: The Wilding

The Wilding: A Novel. By Benjamin Percy. This novel about a three-day hunting trip is a satisfyingly complex adventure that explores the hazy terrain between consumers, predators and prey. The third person narrative rotates among several characters, primarily Justin, a middle-aged high school teacher who spends one last weekend in the canyon with his father … [Read more…]

Book Review – Little Bee

I read this novel in about two days. Part-way through I erred by looking at the author photo on the back. Then I suffered for a few pages, thinking, how can this white man possibly know what he’s talking about? This was an egregious error in reading, an insulting refusal to take the work on … [Read more…]

Book Review: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

David Wroblewski, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. A wonderful read, all in third person, told from several points of view including a dog’s. A big book with great characters. The dog Almondine broke my heart. The kid Edgar broke my heart. The dad broke my heart. Wroblewski conveys grief and its corollary, tenacity, in a … [Read more…]