Dear Books,

Dear Books,

Dear Books,

From the moment my father gave me Go Tell It on the Mountain and told me,

“Read this and you’ll know more about who I am,” 

I knew one thing was inescapable: 

I would need to read that book, get back to him about it, and keep on reading and reading—

Letter from London: Reflections on Writers’ Reputations, Graves, Love Affairs, Accents, and a Murder, in No Particular Order

Letter from London: Reflections on Writers’ Reputations, Graves, Love Affairs, Accents, and a Murder, in No Particular Order

Moving back to London requires minimal adjustment, it’s as easy (as a writer once said about revision, compared to first draft composing) as sliding into a bath of warm oatmeal. No culture shock save for the first instant of wondering why dogs and babies are driving cars; all you have to do is exercise a little preliminary caution crossing the street and you’re done. Or maybe some mild culture shock, over here in the Land of Other People’s Problems, to learn exactly what the tabloid media judges important. “Horror on No. 77!” shrieks the top headline in the Evening Standard, the free newspaper everyone reads on the Tube going home after work.

Writing and Running

Writing and Running

MFAW faculty Keenan Norris: …my father, was less a reader than a storage chest of historical anecdote and information, come upon by means academic and experiential. He was also a runner, my father, a collegiate national record holder for twenty four hours at one point in time, so while my writings are much less the result of natural talent than dedicated labor, the running is in my blood.

Locker Room Talk

Locker Room Talk

Goddard MFAW alumna Julie Parent: “It’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things.”

In response to events in the presidential campaign over that last 10 days, I’ve tried several times to write something resembling a cohesive thought pattern. Instead, I’ve remained anxious and rattled by the reality that one of the main candidates for President of the United States is on tape bragging about committing sexual assault, who later dismisses his remarks as something he’s not proud of but with the implication that they are somehow normal, even expected.

Book People

Book People

Goddard MFAW faculty Michael Klein: Apparently, E.L. Doctorow once taught a course that only had one book on the syllabus. The class read the one book and decided from there what the next book should be. If it was Jane Eyre, somebody might then suggest The Wide Sargasso Sea, which was a prequel and written by another writer at a completely different time. Perhaps, reading both books would give a person a rounder sense of the world created by both sets of characters.

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