Monthly Archives: January 2016

“Do it because it serves your need to grow.”

According to Ken Bain, there are three styles of learners: surface learners, who aim to quickly memorize key words and facts; strategic learners, who aim for top grades and efficiency; and deep learners, who aim to “answer questions or solve … Continue reading

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“I’ve never heard anything like that. The last line comes out of nowhere.”

This line from a conversation between a seventy-seven year-old poet and an IRS agent about a poem by James Wright in the short story “Yancey” is vintage Ann Beattie: it’s an astute comment in an unusual situation by characters who … Continue reading

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“Why, you may ask, should you write serious nonfiction as a story?”

The authors’ answer to this question: “[T]he first job of any book is to get itself read.” Narrative tension, they observe, “remains a highly effective tool for keeping the reader engaged with the material” (179). If that’s so, why don’t … Continue reading

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“Unless you’re a doubter and a worrier, a nail-biter, an apologizer, a rethinker, then memoir may not be your playpen.”

When the Paris Review interviewer ask Mary Karr – author of the wild memoir The Liars’ Club — what the biggest problems were with memoirs today, she said, “They’re not reflective enough. They lack self-awareness.” The importance of developing a … Continue reading

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