Literary Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: Afterlife by Marcus Sakey  

BOOK REVIEW: Afterlife by Marcus Sakey Thomas & Mercer, 2017 Curious about fiction portraying parallel universes, time travel and life after death, I looked forward to reading Afterlife. Sakey has many fans from his previous books. The online reviews of Afterlife were mostly positive. The book itself Sakey’s prose was solid, a well-crafted book full of…

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Celebrating Goodreads’ Sci-Fi & Fantasy Week

While discussing post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction with an academic writer, he asked if I’d read any of John Wyndham’s works. I had not. My friend recommended The Day of the Triffids. This book was considered one of the earliest books published in the genre. What I learned In 1925 Wyndham began writing short stories. In…

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Names: Clues to Character

Names are important. In my novel, Shelter of Leaves, names carry meaning. The first paragraph below is an excerpt from the deleted prologue. Beside her swimming pool, Elaine closed her eyes against the sun. She imagined a drifting boat flanked by trees; crimson, marigold and burnt sienna leaves spun to the ground. Brilliant leaves signaled…

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Writing Trauma

Flannery O’Connor in Mystery and Manners said: “The longer you look at one object, the more of the world you see in it; and it’s well to remember that the serious fiction writer always writes about the whole world, no matter how limited his particular scene.” A symptom list of PTSD will give a reader…

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Survival: Dreams

Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize winning essayist, in answer to a question from the audience about what is needed to become a writer, gave an answer, obvious, yet profound. It surprised me. She replied that the writer has to do more than live out in the world. In a firm voice she declared, “Our minds…

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Intentional Orphans

Writers often create from childhood experience. Deep, vivid memories, often recalled again and again as we age. They serve as an underlay and comparison to our current lives. My first post called “An Orphan Story” is a first grade memory. In third grade our teacher read the class The Boxcar Children and the fictional world…

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