Tag Archives: Portrait of a Lady

Vacation Reading, Part 2

Six months ago, I posted about vacation and what books to bring along.  Since then, we’ve chosen a destination and leave in three days.  I’ve been stacking up books for weeks.  A few are the ones I thought of back in March, when we were debating Wyoming over Carmel (we decided on neither).  A couple weeks ago, at a local bookstore—Alexander Book Company, one of the few, treasured indie bookstores still in S.F.—I found Diane Keaton’s memoir in paperback.  Perfect!  Sometime over the summer, I picked up my husband’s bedside reading and found myself immersed in details of the French … Continue reading

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All You Need Is Love

I’ve been thinking in terms of grand, declarative statements:  Writing fiction is an act of love.  Fiction depends upon empathy.  Writing fiction is a moral act.  Fiction is amoral.  Fiction is true.  Fiction depends on lies.  Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty. Etc. I’ve been thinking of short stories with clear, dramatized change: “Araby” by James Joyce; “How Far She Went” (Mary Hood); “Roman Fever” (Edith Wharton); “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner.  I’ve been remembering, and re-reading, stories with unsympathetic main characters and /or situations of rape, drug abuse, murder:  Denis Johnson’s “Work” and Grace Paley’s “The Little Girl”; Flannery … Continue reading

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