“When you are a latecomer, outsider, immigrant, exile, there are fractures in your life that you can’t heal… I have a lot of respect for people that have stayed behind and have to deal with the wounds every day.” Elif Shafak
Posts tagged "writing"
Ten things about writing

Ten things about writing

Any writer is prey to the temptation to hand out writing advice at the least provocation, but I try to refrain most of the time. There is sufficient writing and publishing advice on the internet to equal even the cat photos and pornography. But here are ten things I believe about writing: things I tell...
All the love in the world

All the love in the world

“It is nice when two people come together in the universe,” Huma Qureshi remembers telling her young son in the opening pages of How We Met. He promptly asks how she and his dad Richard came to be together, and so begins Huma’s story of her quest for married love. It’s a short book –...
My opposite hand

My opposite hand

From the day I learned to write until I was 52 years old, I wrote with my right hand. Then, in April of 2018, due to intense repetitive-stress soreness in my right hand and wrist, I began teaching myself to write with my left. I’ll never be the same. I write my first drafts longhand...
Daydream believer

Daydream believer

Salley Vickers’ latest novel The Librarian is the story of Sylvia Blackwell, a woman in her twenties in the 1950s who moves to the quaint Wiltshire market town of East Mole to work in a library. When she falls in love with an older man, her interactions with his precocious daughter and her neighbours’ son...
Knowing my place

Knowing my place

“Ketrin,” my mother-in-law said, “Come over here. You’re good at writing.” My heart started to beat a little quicker, and I felt beads of sweat popping on the back of my neck. I was ashamed. Why would a simple comment like that invoke such an immediate physical reaction? We were at Easter lunch in Naples,...
Margaret Atwood: 'Rape Fantasies'

Margaret Atwood: ‘Rape Fantasies’

‘It’. Ten times in the first two paragraphs of Margaret Atwood’s classic ‘Rape Fantasies’, the chatterbox narrator, Estelle, avoids naming rape – plainly the topic she wants to address. And who is this Estelle? Oh, she’s quite the card, quite the jokester about rape, although she does take constant detours from her topic. So we...
Shouting at a river

Shouting at a river

Standing over a bassinet in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the early hours of Christmas Eve, 2002, I contemplated what the hell my first act as a father should be. My Miss Marie had been dragged into the world, with suction, only a few minutes before, and after flunking one Apgar test and remaining...
So I'm a writer now?

So I’m a writer now?

Lots of writers seem to really hate writing. For them, sitting down in front of the computer or typewriter or notepad and forcing out their daily word count is like pulling teeth, except rather than simply pulling them out through their mouth, they’re having to pull them down, back through their gums, to be extracted...
Why read a book (let alone write one)?

Why read a book (let alone write one)?

It’s not new to ponder the demise of reading and the printed page, to note that reading has become exotic – that the printed page is going the way of woodblock prints. It’s certainly not new to bemoan the demise of literary writing and the state of publishing, the relegation of challenging long-form fiction and...