Announcing Portraits and Ashes

As you might have guessed from yesterday's defense of self-published literary fiction, I have independently published a novel, Portraits and Ashes. For a brief description, here is the back cover copy: Julia is an aspiring painter without money or direction, haunted by a strange family history. Mark is a successful architect who suddenly finds himself unemployed … Continue reading Announcing Portraits and Ashes

Literary Fiction: To Self-Publish or Not?

If American literature had been left wholly in the hands of established publishers—Ticknor and Fields, for instance—Longfellow might have remained our greatest poet. But Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos, had Leaves of Grass printed, at his own expense, in 1855—he even set most of the type himself. Likewise, if Virginia … Continue reading Literary Fiction: To Self-Publish or Not?

Composition: Planned vs. Unplanned, Written vs. Typed

(Inspired loosely by this essay on planning vs. non-planning novelists.) I have written two and a half novels now, and my method seems to always be the same, despite my best intentions: I begin blindly with a character or image or situation or metaphor and then explore it at random, writing toward I know not … Continue reading Composition: Planned vs. Unplanned, Written vs. Typed

Published: “White Girl”

My short story, "White Girl," which I had thought too controversial to be published even before it took on a new and ghastly relevance this summer, appears in the first issue of the brand-new (and especially beautiful) Amaranth Review. You can read the inaugural issue in its entirety here; my story starts on page 70. Its … Continue reading Published: “White Girl”

Short Story: “The Embrace”

Introduction The person who made the statement quoted (not quite verbatim, so please don't go googling) in the eighth numbered section of my post on Jimmy Corrigan is the editor of a journal that published a short story of mine last year. At $10 a copy, this journal is probably not reaching very many people, and … Continue reading Short Story: “The Embrace”

Published: “Sweet Angry God”

Please click here for a free pdf of my latest short story, published in the December issue of Writing Raw (and check out the rest of the issue!). Writing Raw prefaces each story with a brief description; here is their teaser for mine: When her sister announces that is absconding with a dubious man attracted … Continue reading Published: “Sweet Angry God”

Punching What?

Let us continue to count, and talk, and think about the numbers. —Claire Vaye Watkins As one of the major theses of Claire Vaye Watkins’s celebrated manifesto, “On Pandering,” is that the subject-position I represent should not be acknowledged as a legitimate authority on the essay’s quality or cogency, I will not address myself to … Continue reading Punching What?

On the Survival of Writers’ Reputations

Ted Gioia, introducing his reconsideration of John Fowles: Here’s the truest test. Wait until ten years after their death, and see if anyone still talks about their books. You need a decade for the hype to dissipate, for the eulogies to fade from readers’ memories. Class reading lists have now been updated. The old book … Continue reading On the Survival of Writers’ Reputations

More Notes Toward a Manifesto on Modern Fiction

(Continued from here.) Let me invoke again D. G. Myers’s Dizikes Rule, which says that you should avoid reading novels less than a decade old. While there is no need to be religious about this rule, I do not hesitate to apply it to vast door-stoppers; life is too short, and I am still only … Continue reading More Notes Toward a Manifesto on Modern Fiction