William Luvaas' brilliant new collection of short stories, Ashes Rain Down: A Story Cycle, is a wildly inventive and epic comedy of prophetic visions, and a masterpiece of fiction for our own modern times.
The Ones Who Don't Stay, Paola Mendoza's first novel is a beautiful coming of age story filled with melodic prose, elegant metaphors and a bounty of breathtaking corners of wisdom. Paola brings to life a series of women and imparts each one with depth and sensibility.
For at least a decade, Americans have been living in the shadow of war and yet, except in pop fiction of the Tom Clancy variety (where, in the end, we always win), there's remarkably little evidence of it.
Whether or not NSA employees themselves are "interested" in reading text messages does not change the fact that they can, and the checks and balances that should in principle limit their ability to do so have failed to work.
Do women write the best novels starring women? Do men write the best novels starring men? In many cases, yes. But while there's a lot to be said for "living the gender," there are also some great literary works featuring title characters who are the opposite sex of the author.
Once I barge past that initial feeling of immobilization, the writing assumes its own energy. Many things emerge. They seem to come from some deep mental recess. The experience can seem like a mystifying, dreamlike process, or even a strange form of magic.
In Cook County's juvenile false confession cases, police officers and prosecutors have taken confession contamination to a new level. Not only did they feed facts to suspects, they scripted entire narratives for them.
Margot has a compulsive fixation in being non-Jewish. She obsessively worries that someone will notice her arm, tattooed by the Nazis, so she literally with a sweater, keeps herself under wraps. The sweater serves as a thin veil to keep her apart from others.
I, Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick, was blessed with a fine clerical career. In my hometown of Dublin, I was selected, at age 18, to study in Rome. In Rome I spent many summers reading on the Spanish Steps and praying in St. Peter's.
Anyone who's a writer will tell you it does have advantages but can be tough. For many, the challenges are nearly insurmountable. Whether an author of books, articles or a blog, the best of us embrace those challenges and allow them to shape us.
When I was first approached to write a piece about interactive fiction (IF), my first thought was of a bunch of geeky teenage boys playing text versions of Dungeons and Dragons on their computers in a moldy rec-room.
Powerful novels demand that we slow down and process how we are creating and destroying in our lives. The rabbis taught that amidst so much destructive behavior we must stop and reflect upon the world we exist in.
I'm partial to novels featuring characters getting another chance at love. Those protagonists may or may not do better in their next relationship, but at least the "happily ever after" potential can put a smile on a reader's face.
A crucial issue was how to project the number of prisoners in 10-15 years. As it turns out, there was a simple algorithm for that: What percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds currently cannot read? "And certainly couldn't read for pleasure," he added.
The potential for violence lives within all of us, and I'm no exception. Violence in my novels is contrived--it's pure fiction--but reflects a core truth about human nature. It's never meant to be gratuitous, but rather serves the story.
Alice Munro's writing, like all great writing, teaches us to be human. It engages big questions in small spaces: What does it mean to be regional? What does it mean to be Canadian? What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be betrayed?
Among the fictional characters we might want to avoid (if they somehow came to life) are murderers, liars, hypocrites, busybodies, racists, male chauvinists, militaristic men, rotten bosses, the money-obsessed and people who are just plain boring.