Friday, March 9, 2012

Writers and Writing Roundup

Elise Blackwell, "Is Everyone a Writer?" Chronicle, March 3, 2012

The only aspect of my job as an MFA director and creative writing professor that I dislike—aside from those “and then I woke up” stories freshmen sometimes write—is gatekeeping.>>>

Patricia Hampl, "F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Essays From the Edge," American Scholar (Spring 2012)

The first readers to comment on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Crack-Up” essays made no pretense to literary criticism. They just wanted to dish—and diss. The dismay of old or former or soon-to-be-former friends came at Fitzgerald fast and furious, along with smack-downs from those critics who bothered to remark on the essays as they appeared in three successive issues of Esquire, in February, March, and April 1936.>>>

Rob Latham, "The Exegete: On the career of Philip K. Dick, up to and including The Exegesis," Los Angeles Review of Books, February 24, 2012

When Philip K. Dick died in 1982 of a series of strokes brought on by years of overwork and amphetamine abuse, he was seen within the science fiction genre as a cult author of idiosyncratic works treating themes of synthetic selfhood and near-future dystopia, an intriguing if essentially second-rank talent.>>>

"Five Female Writers Who Changed The Course Of Chicago Literary History," Chicagoist, March 8, 2012

March is Women's History Month; for 31 days we celebrate the women who have made our employment, the oration of our opinions, and our lifestyles possible. When it comes to contemporary authors, there's plenty of strong female voices in Chicago.>>>

Scott Martelle, "Book review: 'Watergate,'" Los Angeles Times, February 19, 2012

A few months ago I attended a book launch party for Adam Hochschild's World War I history, "To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918," where he offered a concise dissection of the difference between writing novels and writing history. To write history, he said, the story needs only to be true. To write a novel, the story must be plausible — an often much more difficult thing to accomplish.>>>

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