Monthly Archives: January 2017

“Every work of literature has both a situation and a story.”

The situation, Vivian Gornick explains in this book about the art of personal narrative, is the context or circumstances, while the story is “the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say” (13). Gornick argues that the most … Continue reading

Posted in memoir, non-fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Can you tell a story that doesn’t begin, it’s just suddenly happening?”

In each of the six short stories in this collection, which won the 2015 National book Award, things suddenly happen on the first page: there are no descriptions of the setting, no background information.  Instead, the story seems to be … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“This all sounds very messy”

What I’m looking for – perhaps what we’re all looking for – are learning principles that are most likely to lead to long-term retention – even if they’re messy. In Small Teaching, Jim Lang describes a learning principle called “interleaving” … Continue reading

Posted in Pedagogy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Keeping secrets was the family business.”

What should you tell?  What should you leave out? These used to be the most important questions for memoirists and for writers of all genres.  However, I have come to believe that we are entering a new era where the … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment