Craft Essay

Tragedy on a Large Stage

In Raymond Carver’s iconic “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love,” the two couples at the center of the narrative never leave the kitchen table, and yet, over the course of its fifteen pages, the story dangles these characters over a dark existential abyss. Alice Munro’s “Runaway” places…

Riding the Elephant

A note from the author: This is an extract from a journal I kept while I traveled through South Asia some years ago on a writing assignment. I always keep journals when I travel, because some of the information might be useful later if it’s a research trip for a novel, or if I’m on assignment as…

Looking Inside

There was a time,” says Neil Genzlinger in a January 2011 article in the New York Times, “when you had to earn the right to draft a memoir, by accomplishing something noteworthy or having an extremely unusual experience or being such a brilliant writer that you could turn relatively ordinary…

Words, Words, Words

In the writer’s art, words are our paint, our clay, our chords. But when we are not practicing the art of writing, we are still using words — to scream at each other, to promise, lie, compliment; word come at us from the TV, from menus, billboards, tax returns; they are present in the…
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