CRAFT ESSAYS

 

THE DEEP EYE

 

 

When we write first-person narrators, we discover there is a subtle but crucial difference between something like “reporting from the scene of a consciousness” and “reporting from within a consciousness.” The former is weak and unconvincing, while the latter feels like life.  CONTINUE READING

POTATOES AND VODKA

 

 

While it is hard enough to describe something effectively in fiction—how a thing smells, moves, looks—sometimes it is useful to describe how exactly a thing seems or appears to be, above and beyond any discernible physical characteristics. The ineffable sense of how things are often makes up the best and most memorable aspect of a piece of writing, but it can be among the hardest things to get right. CONTINUE READING

EMPATHY AND CRUELTY

 

 

ZZ Packer's "Brownies” is not really—or not only—about race, equality, and fairness. It is a about becoming a writer. Like many important stories, it is itself about telling stories.  CONTINUE READING

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A BOY AND HIS DOGMA

 

 

How does Roth manage to maintain our interest even as "The Conversion of the Jews" becomes so plainly allegorical?  Why don’t we get bored or irritated?  Why don't we feel bullied?  CONTINUE READING