Paradise Deleted

A while back, I was writing on a computer that clumped along like ol’ Dobbin the work-horse, its eyes too bleary for more than a frame or two of YouTube, its pace too slow for quick links to websites. The poor thing would freeze at the sight of my email, hitched as it was to…

New Brooms

Here is a metaphor to delight a storyteller’s heart: a new broom sweeps clean. Egypt, as we all know, has been full of new brooms as its youth rose up to sweep away a thirty year-old dictatorship. Revolution is a modern story, one to which we can supply a few anxious beginnings and tragic endings.…

Christina’s Story

Fiction tries to embrace the world. Yet when the power of real-world events overtakes us, we writers of stories pause inside a necessary silence. We now contemplate six innocent dead whose stories were taken away from them in that savage Arizona shooting. The power of this loss is chastening. It asks us as writers to…

Hans Fallada’s Every Man Dies Alone

I’ve just finished reading an astounding five-hundred-page novel called Every Man Dies Alone by the German writer Hans Fallada. The book was written in 1947, but was only translated into English two years ago. What took them so long??? This compelling and inspiring page-turner was written — believe it or not — in the space…