When Literary Criticism Doesn’t Work

I first read James Wood’s How Fiction Works nearly ten years ago, shortly after it was published. And it hasn’t aged well. It probably didn’t help that the first time I picked it up, I assumed it was a volume of criticism from the 1950s or 1960s Reading it this time around for my MFA has been,Continue reading “When Literary Criticism Doesn’t Work”

Literary Theory: The Class Everyone Loves to Hate

Different institutions give it various names. Narrative Strategies. Textual Strategies. Literary Theory. Readers and Writers. But whatever you call it, it’s usually one of the first required classes. It’s also the class I’ve heard the most MFA graduates groan about. What’s the point? I’m never going to use this stuff. So, here I am, making upContinue reading “Literary Theory: The Class Everyone Loves to Hate”

How to Take a Critique

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of whining on Twitter from authors. Someone left a bad review of their book on Amazon. Or someone gave a 4-star review but meant 3.5 stars. Or someone just didn’t get it. These authors receive unfavorable critiques as if they were personal insults or the equivalent of systemic injustices.Continue reading “How to Take a Critique”