Category Archives: On Writing

Michael Chabon’s Moonglow: A Novel Shines From Within

Michael Chabon, of course, needs no introduction. But you may wonder whether his latest book, Moonglow: A Novel, is  actually a novel or a memoir. He calls this work a novel in the title itself and so it is, but … Continue reading

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“Maud’s Line”: A Terrifying, Heart-Tugging Tale of A Hard-Scrabble Life

Eastern Oklahoma in the 1920s, in an area inhabited mostly by Cherokees. This is the setting for Margaret Verble’s remarkable, heart-breaking yet ultimately life-affirming first novel, Maud’s Line. Why did this book’s title grab me so sharply? First, because I … Continue reading

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Colum McCann’s Wonderful Recent Collection

[I wrote this back in October. But after I mentioned it today to a fairly regular reader of this blog, and noticed the puzzled look on her face, I checked back and found that I’d actually never published it. So here it is now. … Continue reading

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ANOTHER FREEBIE IS HERE! TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Okay, here’s the big news! Once again, we’ve decided to do a promotion for my comic adventure novel Problems of Translation, or Charlie’s Comic, Romantic, Terrifying, Loopy Round-the-World Journey in Search of Linguistic Happiness! Starting today and for the next 3 … Continue reading

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COME BRIGHTEN YOUR NEW YEAR ON JANUARY 25TH!

yielding a shocking glimpse, perhaps, into one writer’s mind, and how it (sometimes) works! Continue reading

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BASKING IN THE GLOW

Hey! This morning I put the finishing touches on my next novel! How great is that! So what do I do next? Well, a few minutes later, going out to celebrate with a coffee, I sit down in an Upper West Side coffee … Continue reading

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DREDGING UP THE PAST

Back in the summer of ’89 I earned a month-long stint at the Edward Albee Center at Montauk Point. It was an exhilarating and productive time, with a lot of highlights, including being feted at my birthday dinner by Edward … Continue reading

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ZIG ZAG, BIPPITY BUMP: ALONG COMES LUCIA BERLIN

Now along comes Lucia Berlin. Or here she always was, I guess, only I didn’t know it. Poor lady only had a couple of thousand readers, by one estimate. Deserved, deserves many more. Wrote in short, snappy sentences. Black or … Continue reading

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MIA ALVAR’S “IN THE COUNTRY”–HOW DO I LIKE IT? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS…

Each of the nine stories in Mia Alvar’s absorbing first collection grabs you from the start and lingers long after you’ve finished. Scrutinize as you will with your Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass, it’s hard to find a bad line or … Continue reading

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TWO FOR ONE: ALL THE LIGHT IT’S STILL CRUCIAL TO SEE

It seems remarkable to me—an almost spooky coincidence, as a matter of fact— that the two best books I’ve read this summer were produced by two authors who were both offering workshops at the same time in the same place—the … Continue reading

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