Category Archives: Writing

Shelf Awareness for Readers Review: The Telling Room, by Michael Paterniti

My review for Michael Paterniti’s The Telling Room is posted here. It’s always good to look at other reactions:  The New York Times review, while positive, acknowleged its overwrough quality, comparing it to those little handwritten descriptions pinned to cheeses … Continue reading

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Shelf Awareness for Readers Review: Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine by by Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster

This review* for Shelf Awareness for Readers was challenging to write, both for the need to capture complex ideas in 250 words and for required refresher on the many interpretations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is widely accepted that the core of … Continue reading

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Notes on reviewing Books: The Millions, The New Yorker, and Christian Wiman

Critic Michael Bourne in The Millions has an excellent piece on book reviewing, where he discusses how the digital age has changed their purpose and scope.  Typical reviews typically opened with a brief context-setting introduction;, followed by a thumbnail outline, … Continue reading

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Review: Gish Jen, Tiger Writing

Here and below is my review of Gish Jen”s Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self, published by Harvard University Press in March; it ran in today’s Shelf Awareness for Readers. Gish Jen’s elegant and wide-ranging Tiger Writing–a collection … Continue reading

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Notes on the Craft of Writing: From story to novel in Anthony Marra’s CHECHNYA and A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA

That headline is a bit of misdirection, since this post will focus on Anthony Marra’s short story, Chechnya, which was my first introduction to Marra.  Chechnya was initially published in  Narrative Magazine’s Fall 2009 issue, having won their Spring story … Continue reading

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