“It must be a strange feeling to write a blockbuster novel,” observes Charles Finch in USA Today. “Very few people will ever know what it's like. The author must think: Why me? Why this particular book? And perhaps most importantly, what next? Gillian Flynn and E.L. James, though the first is a master and the second a scribbler, are nevertheless both experiencing this phenomenon right now, all alone on their hilltops.
Literature allows us to enter another person’s mind. Often, it is the same one – the writer’s, refracted and bent through characters who, nevertheless, often have too much in common.
Roxana Robinson’s work is an effort to shatter the constraints of consciousness, bringing readers inside the head of radically different characters, from the artist Georgia O’Keeffe in a nonfiction biography to a young heroin addict and his parents in her 2008 novel, Cost.
Top Ten contributor Andrea Barrett is receiving strong reviews for her ninth book, an “elegant new story collection” titled Archangel.
John Freeman says the five interlaced stories feel “like a dispatch from the moving front of scientific discovery, [spanning] the wake of Darwin’s theory to the aftermath of Einstein’s discovery of relativity.”
(This is the slightly revised text of the speech I gave at North Carolina State University to kick off its annual Communication Week).
When I was invited to speak at N.C State’s Communication Week I wondered – what do they do the other 51 weeks of the year? Is State, in fact, a monastery where everyone takes an oath of silence? Or maybe it’s just preparing students for marriage.
Top Ten contributor Edwidge Danticat is featured in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. Here are some select questions (read the entire piece here) as well as her Top Ten List and brief appreciation of one of her favorite books, Masters of the Dew by Jacques Romain.
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how).