We’re fortunate to live in an age where Viet Thanh Nguyen wins the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 and where our literary scene can include stories that revise or even challenge the “immigrant narrative” that for years had dominated the conversation.
Stillness is dangerous in a novel: when a reader senses a dip in energy or motion, he or she often starts to disengage from the story.
When I was eight, my mother would praise every piece of art I brought home. It didn’t matter whether I spent hours gluing macaroni on cardboard tubes or seconds slashing paint across construction paper.
In this series, I’m reading Celeste Ng’s blockbuster debut novel Everything I Never Told You and discussing literary techniques I notice in each chapter.
Bottom line: we don’t feel the need to do something just because it’s trending in Manhattan.
In books, as in real life, it can be exciting to disobey, trespass, and eavesdrop.
I always tell my students, “A description of a character running is okay. A description of a character running somewhere is better. A description of a character running home from something is even better.”
In undergrad (and even in grad school), we were admonished never to begin a story with a character waking up or starting their morning.