Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Vonnegut’s shapes of stories

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Somewhere, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that writers should begin a story, any story, novel, whatever, as close as possible to the end.  At least, I think he said that.  Did I dream that?  Anyway, great advice.  And here’s a fine little chalk talk by Mr. Vonnegut.  He’s talking about the simple shapes of stories.  Entertaining and […]

Marcel Proust and Le League Americain

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

(This essay was broadcast on WUWM’s Lake Effect program on May 7, 2010.  Have a listen to it here.) It’s a little known fact that Marcel Proust—yes, that Marcel Proust—he of the monstrous early Modernist novel Remembrance of Things Past—one of those Mount Everest sort of books that some readers say they ought to tackle […]

Area man reads novel excerpt

Friday, February 5th, 2010

So here’s a little bit of Pepperland, read on the evening of February 3, 2010 in Chicago at the Reading Under the Influence monthly session at the Sheffield.  If you’re anywhere close to Chicago, you oughta go sometime. Pepperland is set in Chicago during the winter of 1974 and it’s about the intersection of rock […]

The novel “Pepperland” considered

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

(Since this post, which was written in January 2010,  Pepperland, you’ll be happy to know, is now finished.  It rocks. Release date: May 21, 2013.) So the review copy of Barry Wightman’s still unfinished novel of the intersection of rock ‘n roll, technology and love, Pepperland, showed up on my groaningly chaotic desk, tossed there […]

Personal dig

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead Aristotle, in the Poetics, said that the worst kind of plot was the episodic—the kind where not much happens, it’s just one damn thing after another.  I frankly don’t agree with the ancient Greek and am just fine with episodic plots (isn’t that the way life really is?) and I […]