WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Remembering Robert Stone

I was saddened to read the other day of the death of novelist Robert Stone, one of my heroes. He was a writer I landed on early in my development … Continue reading

January 13, 2015 · 9 Comments

Today I think I’ll use… Hamartia

It’s fun to use obscure literary and rhetorical terms that nobody knows for techniques that we use all the time. Hamartia is a fancy word for the ever-popular “tragic flaw” … Continue reading

November 12, 2014 · 4 Comments

Those were the days: books in the 1940s

Man, I hate to sound like a broken record, but there was a lot of great stuff to read in olden times. Look at this list of the best books … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · 9 Comments

Self destructive

#485197929 / gettyimages.com Novelist Will Self makes a persuasive case that the literary novel is dead. Considering his own teenage son as a canary in the coal mine, he launches … Continue reading

May 7, 2014 · 8 Comments

Alice Hoffman sez writing novels is a cinch!

This assemblage of tips from novelist Alice Hoffman purports to show you how to write a novel. To summarize: 1) Start with an image. 2) Write lists (random words mainly). … Continue reading

April 22, 2014 · 12 Comments

Unnecessary question: What should I read next?

People do seem to ask this question, but almost everyone I know has no trouble landing on their next read. If you’re at all tuned in to books, odds are … Continue reading

April 21, 2014 · 7 Comments

Cat fight! Famous authors hatin’ on famous authors

Everyone likes rubbernecking when there’s a good face-scratchin’, hair-pullin’ fight. It’s even better when the scratchers and pullers are legendary writers like Faulkner, Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, D.H. Lawrence, and a … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · 6 Comments

Garbage in, garbage out: 100 years of bestsellers

I found this pretty interesting. This guy, Matthew Kahn, is in the process of reading the Publishers Weekly No. 1 bestsellers of that last 100 years, and he’s noting some … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 12 Comments

Watch your step!

I was just reading this terrific interview with George Saunders, and it got me thinking that one of the things that makes fiction so powerful is that life really is … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · 3 Comments

Speed reading: how to absorb the classics without breaking a sweat

We all love to read. We’re also, every last one of us, crunched for time. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get to all those classics you’ve been meaning … Continue reading

March 25, 2014 · 13 Comments