Ventures Category

Louise Erdrich “The Night Watchman” (and yeah girl I learned about this at AWP)

Which leads me to the best piece of writing advice I’ve encountered in awhile. Louise knows she can “catapult the character forward” when she spots a line that authentically, effortlessly grasps who they are.

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The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

We are lucky to live in the world of Deborah Levy.

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Anything Goes at Mama D’s

Originally published in the Bushwick Daily. Photos by Claire Worsley and Ambria Michelle A new speakeasy bonanza on the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick (Bushwood, as the owners think of it — don’t ever call it “Ridgewick”) features everything from your wildest trip: unspeakably good pastries, intelligent chit-chats over film, one bathroom lacquered in Golden […]

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MARINA on becoming human through “Fear + Love”

Her powerhouse anthem from the album is “To Be Human.” The song becomes the cornerstone of not only the album but MARINA’s career, which has grown from selfish impulses (are you satisfied?) to more universal knowledge (how to thrive within the uncertainty of being human). Along with being the most layered track, “To Be Human” is informed by politics without a stifling dogmatism. “All our cracks as a society were beginning to show,” Diamandis said of her impetus to write the song, “I’ve just wanted to create this feeling of bringing people together.”

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The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman

I ordered The Cosmopolitans after hearing Sarah Schulman at an AWP panel with the gloriously strong and trenchant Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. I was proud of myself for finally getting around to the work that launched Schulman’s career as a novelist and public intellectual in 1990. But about 100 pages into The Cosmopolitans, the sort of insight and anxiety around race, marketing, […]

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Edmund White’s recommendations

The grand dame of gay letters, Edmund White, published The Unpunished Vice: a Life of Reading back in June, and I’m pleased to report to all who care that the 78 White is just as trenchant and charming as the 19 White who witnessed Stonewall.

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Best cafes/museums to write at in NYC

For my Columbia Publishing Course peeps, here’s a list in progress: JAVA The Chipped Cup (Hamilton Heights/ Harlem) 🙂 friendly environment get there early enough and you’ll find a seat amazing coffee 🙁 can get crowded near 148th/broadway–not an unsafe era (I lived there for a year) but needs some aesthetic tlc; you may want […]

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1 swell paragraph from Joan Didion

Swam through Joan Didion’s “South and West,” scattered notes and essays (mostly about visiting the south) and came across this gem. For me basically confirms why she’s the best:

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Journal vs. Diary vs. Notebook

Not necessarily for the better, but the form of a journal nudges your thinking into becoming more linear, in-depth, focused, and comprehensible for a reader with a quick eye and probable impatience. It encourages that word that most writers hate yet desperately need—discipline.

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Review! Maggie O’Farrell’s 17 Brushes with Death

O’Farrell brings the reader into her experience, our common experience, and makes them shiver with wonder and delight that they have (for the time being) escaped, as Dickens put it, Our Mutual Friend.

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