"There are two main perils when it comes to writing from personal experience: what it will do to your work, and what it will do to your life." —Leslie Jamison via Is It O.K. to Mine Real Relationships for Literary Material? - NYTimes.com
I just finished Leslie’s novel The Gin Closet and highly recommend it, in addition, of course, to her BEST-SELLING (!) essay collection The Gin Closet.
And, of course, I should mention Leslie will be here on May 19 for our Graywolf Press birthday party! More info.
"This is advice that I am borrowing from Nao Bustamante, which is that you are not responsible for other people’s experience of your work. Even if it’s memoir. If they perceive it in a way you didn’t intend, that’s not on you. You also can’t do anything to change it."
"A good critic is trying to tell you what she has learned about herself from the reading of a particular piece of literature. A bad reviewer is often trying to tell you how smart he is by declaring whether or not he liked a particular book."
Kevin Guilfoile in the commentary on our first day of judgment at The Morning News Tournament of Books - Presented by Field Notes
Join us for a ToB celebration here on March 24!
"Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine, but once in a while, as I eat a burrito and watch an old samurai film, I wonder how that other, more glamorous writer, David-san, the Second-Rate Novelist, is doing over there, where it’s already tomorrow."
David Gordon is Big in Japan - NYTimes.com
And David Gordon will be here on February 10! Mark your calendar, details coming soon.
"As a man things are as they should or shouldn’t be. As a man you know who is right and who is wrong. You have to make decisions and enforce them. As a writer you should not judge. You should understand."
"I have gotten into baseball recently, and whenever I have trouble writing, I think about the pace of baseball. It’s slow. You strike out a lot, even if you’re great. It’s mostly individual, but when you have to work together, it must be perfect. My desktop picture is of the Red Sox during the World Series. They aren’t winning; they’re just grinding out another play. This, for me, is very helpful to have in my mind while writing."
"But one ultra-shitty thing about writing, fiction and nonfiction, is that sometimes you may just not be the person you need to be to write the book you want to write yet. I desperately wanted to be the person who could write my novel immediately after I finished ATHSW. But the right stuff hadn’t happened to me yet. You have to trust that you’re having the experiences you need to have in order to become the person who finishes the book."
Stuff We like
- “Kevin Brockmeier’s novels and stories are powered by brilliant, magical ideas. Some of them read as...”