BETWEEN THE LINES

Why I love AWP

March 11, 2013

Tags: AWP, panels, readings

Iíve been thinking about why I love AWP so much. I mean, itís too big and too loud, with far too many choices and inevitable conflicts. Actually, I find it totally overwhelming. But I love being stuffed with 12,000 writers and editors and small press publishers into a conference center with recycled air and never enough bathrooms. (more…)

Recent reads on the faultlines of politics and people

March 5, 2013

Tags: political fiction

Sometimes I feel like a divided woman, caring fiercely about both social justice activism and literature. On first glance, it might seem easily reconciled: write fiction about injustices and resistance, right? Only Ė of course Ė itís not at all that simple. Sometimes the brain cells, the synapses and dendrites and neurons (all that anatomy I studied years ago and have mostly forgotten) that make connections necessary for activism seem not only very different from those that create good fiction, but also in direct contradiction.

And then, just when I despair that I canít get it right, I read books that are so good, such exquisite combinations of bearing witness to the world and fine literary work, that Iím inspired to keep working. Three recent books made me feel this way. (more…)