Responsible Fiction: Toe to Toe with Difference

Writers have to get outside their own skin. But sometimes I get overeager to inhabit differences. And I write about characters I have no chance of understanding. So I just finished revisions on a short story about an Ethiopian immigrant who runs into his past. At the grocery store, he comes across a woman who witnessed anContinue reading “Responsible Fiction: Toe to Toe with Difference”

Top Five Reasons to Learn a New Language If You’re Over 30

So I just started taking Russian classes. My classmates and I arrive promptly at 6:15 and greet each other with a polite “Prevyet. Kak dela?” A lot of our friends are impressed but confused as to, well, why would you do this to yourself? I mean, who has the time, they say. If you have theContinue reading “Top Five Reasons to Learn a New Language If You’re Over 30”

Revision as Sculpture

A lot of students have come to me lately with papers deep in revision. “I’m really sorry for the mess,” they say. They set down a packet of stapled pages, all scrawled over with notes. Entire lines crossed out. Marginalia thicker than printed text. “Can you still read it?” “Are you kidding?” I ask them. “ThisContinue reading “Revision as Sculpture”