I don’t usually quote wise sayings, but this is one I believe in: “My father used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” – Desmond Tutu
If only this idea was an innate human trait! Alas, we are far too lazy a species and so tend to shoot first, while ignoring questions. (There I go, raising my voice and not bothering to support my argument. Well, if anybody wants to argue the point, I’ll toss off some examples.) If you’re a writer, you must be willing to ask yourself the questions that your readers might ask. How you answer may or may not be an explanation, but it must be satisfying to you.
In the midst of two books at the moment, one paper, one digital. The paper one is Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay (McClelland & Stewart, 2008 / available on Amazon)
and the ebook is Life Knocks by Craig Stone (self-published / available on Amazon).
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Very moving, thoughtful novel and one I thought would not appeal to me. It appealed mightily.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Took me to a world I did not know and forced me to look at every strange thing and to listen to every strange word close up. It’s painful, but full of life. A challenge to the mind and senses .
Excellent interview with A.M. Homes, novelist, on how she works and also how she thinks about the characters, places, and situations in her fictions.
I just bought two recent novels by young women:
The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton, Emblem/McClelland and Stewart, 2011
Holding Still For as Long as Possible by Zoe Whittall, House of Anansi Press, 2009
Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
There But For The by Ali Smith
The Blue Light Project by Timothy Taylor