Kate Atkinson, how is it your novels have gone missing from my bookshelves for so long? While staying at a friend’s maison in France, I happened upon your novel, One Good Turn, and was captivated from the first pages. You have a wit, a writing elan, that makes reading this book as enjoyable as sitting […]
I recently gave a talk at the Cary Memorial Library in my hometown, Lexington, Massachusetts, on the American literary trilogy of the 20th century. My talk focused on the works of John Updike, John Dos Passos, and Philip Roth. My interest in the subject was, perhaps not coincidentally, because of writing my own trilogy and […]
I’ve just finished reading Ann Petry’s 1946 novel, The Street. I was inspired to do so after reading Petry’s reprinted obit (1908-1997) in The New York Times. She was the first black woman novelist to publish a book—her very first—that sold over a million copies. In reading it, I was struck by the unfortunate truth […]
The trilogy and tetralogy are commonplace in genre fiction: science-fiction, fantasy, mystery. But what of literature? Tori Merkle dissects the phenomenon and helps us understand its often unrecognized significance, not only in storytelling but in an author’s oeuvre. Literary Chronicles: An Exploration of Trilogies and Tetralogies in Literary Fiction by Tori Merkle It’s a fact […]
In my novel Wild Blue Yonder [new edition coming out August 1], the main character, Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, is made a military newspaper correspondent. A thoughtful but incredibly naive young man, he writes the following editorial. You can just imagine what happens when he submits it to his sergeant-editor. Be that as it may, and […]
I begin writing my first literary novel, Wild Blue Yonder. It undergoes seven revisions over four years. By this time self-publishing is catching fire, and I decide to forego the usual agent route and try out the new publishing technology. It comes out in 2011 and sells like crazy on Amazon.