From Genre to Literary Reading

This is a great book to help someone who wants to upgrade their reading fare from genre to literary fiction. It teaches you how to pay attention to meta-textual details such as themes, symbols, voice, diction, and story structure. Attention … Continue reading

Elements of Fiction: A Quadrangle

I just finished re-reading Art &Lies by Jeanette Winterson and was again elevated by her lyrical language, though unlike my first awe-struck read, about four years ago, this time I noted more over-writing and self-indulgent wordplay – not that I … Continue reading

Strictly For Lovers of the Naive and Sentimental

I was a fan of le Carré for decades. I read every one of his novels, from “Call for the Dead” to “A Small Town in Germany” and on forward.  He was my favorite author and I’d often buy the … Continue reading

Being Your Resume

The Orphan Master’s Son is a grim book with a high gross-out factor, so if you don’t tolerate torture and gore well, it wouldn’t be for you. But if you enjoy the creativity of trying to depict sheer horror, it’s … Continue reading

Stegner’s Curmudgeon

In Wallace Stegner’s The Spectator Bird, Joe Allston, ex-New York literary agent, has retired to a quiet suburban life in Palo Alto in the 1970’s. One day he gets an innocuous postcard from an acquaintance Denmark he and his wife met … Continue reading

LA Trickle-Down Gossip

I’m exhausted after selling my mother-in-law’s two-bedroom house in Los Angeles. She’s downsizing to an assisted-living place and I’ve become aware again of muscles I only vaguely remember from my youth, after packaging nearly everything and cleaning the place. It’s … Continue reading