Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

The stereo of fine historical fiction

Friday, September 16th, 2011

David Mitchell, after writing his first historical novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, said that one of the great appeals of the genre is that it “delivers a stereo narrative: from one speaker comes the treble of the novel’s own plot while the other plays the bass of history’s plot.”  Well, I’m here […]

The click of a well-made box…

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Out here in the flatlands, sometimes, you can see for miles and miles.  Approaching weather can be seen far in the distance.  There is time to prepare.  And landscapes are logical.  The vectors line up—lines over straight lines, right angles.  Roads cross in an orderly fashion.  But in Mark Stevens’ wonderful Buried by the Roan, […]

Jane Eyre-ity on WUWM’s Lake Effect

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

This essay was broadcast on Milwaukee Public Radio, WUWM’s Lake Effect program on August 9,2011. Have a listen here!  

Up on critter creek…

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

My digital turntable is spinning.  I have flipped on the magical Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Rob Young, writing in his marvelous new survey of Britain’s “visionary music” of the last one hundred years, Electric Eden, calls the piece, “magisterial…gliding out of the dock like a gigantic galleon.”  This […]

Jane Eyre-ity

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

(This essay was broadcast on Milwaukee Public Radio on August 9, 2011. Have a listen here. Or go ahead and keep on reading…) Flashback to the late ‘80s.  The flight from Sydney to LA, still parked at the gate, is going to be full, I can tell. But I’ve lucked out and am comfortably perched […]