Critic, poet, and fiction writer Anis Shivani is hosting a weekly series on the short story in the Huffington Post. My responses to his questions, along with responses by Lori Ostlund, Gina Ochsner, Anne Sanow, and Marisa Silver, posted today. Click here to check it out. Anis also convinced me to share some of my new work on Scribd; you can read it here.
I liked what Lori had to say about taking time to get the work right: “I think that we need to slow down and do what is best for our work rather than rushing to meet the demands of the publishing world.”
And what Gina said about playfulness and the story: “It’s a completely malleable form, open for endless experimentation. When I’m reading a terrific short story, say something by Millhauser or Munro or maybe Gombrowitz, I’ll think to myself: Wow! This writer is having fun. And wow–look how mischievously he or she has infused and amplified energy in the piece via voice, or language, or narratorial design.”
I was excited to see Anne’s recommendation of a new Salvatore Scibona story in A Public Space.
And I liked Marisa’s description of process: “When I write a story, I feel like I am taking a particular moment in space and time in the life of a character, bringing a big hammer down and smashing that moment to bits and then looking at every single shard that I can collect off the floor. I don’t try to fit them together correctly. I try to find out how the new jagged edges might bump up against one another, how they might scratch, how the unlikely juxtaposition of pieces might allow me to see more deeply and accurately what that person is experiencing at the moment of the story’s telling.”
Thank you for hosting us, Anis!