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Correspondent’s Course: People Who Are Weapons

My novel Fat Man and Little Boy is a story about the atom bombs the United States dropped on Japan. It imagines that after they exploded, the bombs were reincarnated as brothers: a fat man, a little boy. The brothers travel from Japan to France and later to America, haunted by all that they have […]

Posted in Correspondent's Course

Comments: 1

Correspondent’s Course: Athletes in Fiction

At first brush it would seem books and sports do not belong with one another. The cliché has them sitting at separate tables in the lunchroom. Nerd v. Jock. And, in current culture, one is forever tightening its grip on our hearts, minds and money—this last Super Bowl, despite being basically over by halftime, was […]

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Correspondent’s Course: American Indian Authors You Must Read

American Indians make up only 1% of the United States population, but faux images of us abound in pop culture. From Pocahontas to Tonto to Dances With Wolves to the use of cartoon faces of Indians as mascots, inauthentic portraits of Native people fill the big and small screen, and were once common in books. […]

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Correspondent’s Course: A Laszlo Krasznahorkai Reading List

In March of last year, English-language readers were finally presented with Satantango, the first novel by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, the writer Susan Sontag once called “the contemporary Hungarian master of the apocalypse.” The novel, considered a masterpiece in the author’s native country since its original publication in 1985, adds to his work now available in English, […]

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Correspondent’s Course: Freak Tales

Freaks… are like a person in a fairy tail who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle.

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Correspondent’s Course: Conversion Books

The process of conversion has been a common topic for literary treatment ever since. What follows are some literary depictions of conversion, some of which are mentioned explicitly in my novel, others not, but books that a “literary convert” such as Sophie would likely have read along the way.

Posted in Correspondent's Course, Tin House Books

Comments: 2

Correspondent’s Course: Women & War

“It’s not as celebrated, the home front, with its Victory Gardens and rationing, its domestic ennui and abstract terrors, but there were women whose words cut as close to the bone as any by Ernest Hemingway or Siegfried Sassoon.”

Posted in Correspondent's Course, Tin House Books

Comments: 3

Correspondent’s Course: Oregon Poets

“Oregon. There’s no place like it anywhere on earth. Its poets rise up straight from the black soil of rain forests, its rivers, its concrete and asphalt. They are building bridges. We are walking across to meet them.”

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Correspondent’s Course: The Fiction of Naguib Mahfouz

Few national literatures, however, have been as marked by a single author as Egypt’s literature has been marked by Naguib Mahfouz. A titan of international letters — and the only Egyptian author to be honored with the Nobel Prize — Mahfouz dominates most any discussion of Egyptian fiction in the 20th century.

Posted in Correspondent's Course

Comments: 1

Correspondent’s Course: Outside Jazz History

“Fifty years from now, how will people have deeper access to the wonderful phenomena of mid-century American jazz, something behind the scenes, something more human than the hardcore iconography that develops when history is based on pinnacle moments?”

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Correspondent’s Course: Covers That Excite

“Charles Darwin standing in the midst of a pastel mushroom forest with a faceless hermaphrodite was just what I needed.”

Posted in Correspondent's Course, Tin House Books

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Correspondent’s Course: Bloodthirsy Fiction

“These were stories told against the backdrop of something larger and more frightening. They were also bloody.”

Posted in Correspondent's Course

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Correspondent’s Course: Motor City Fiction

“We are more than dying flies in a shithouse…”

Posted in Correspondent's Course, Tin House Books

Comments: 2

Correspondent’s Course: The New Old Library

“I measure a book’s impact by how it irrevocably changes an image or word or impression for me.”

Posted in Correspondent's Course

Comments: 3

Correspondent’s Course: French Settings

“A truly erotic story must, finally, be tragic.”

Posted in Correspondent's Course

Comments: 9

Correspondent’s Course: The Fiction of Idaho

“They are the bacon of internet digestion”

Posted in Correspondent's Course

Comments: 0