Old City: a visit to Pompeii

When the train doors open, we can already feel the heat. Nine forty-five, cloudless sky, the second heatwave of the summer sliding leisurely through Europe. We are spending the day in Pompeii. We've taken the train over from Naples, six euros for the express with air conditioning, three euros for the slow train. Last night,... Continue Reading →

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Literature and political commentary: how far from reality can we stray?

The other night, I finished reading Ariel Dorfman's play Death and the Maiden, a haunting examination of Chile's reckoning with the aftermath of dictatorship. The play itself was emotionally powerful, concentrated in its characters and ideas (somewhat in the way poetry has a density of meaning, like the brief but all-consuming burst from a candy... Continue Reading →

Efficient revising: what order is best?

The four faces of revising. Yesterday, I completed a first draft of rewrites to my novel manuscript. It's been three months since I began, thirteen chapters of new material, and copious reworking of the existing. It's a celebration, to be sure, and I'm content to bask in the glory of a milestone passed for a... Continue Reading →

Year’s End: Reflection

Nearly four years has passed since I decided I would make writing a central part of my life. It's the end of the year. My journey as a writer has taken me deep into myself, and I am feeling more sure than I did four years ago, more than I did one year ago. Let... Continue Reading →

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