A short story I recently read

The Man I Killed, by Tim O’Brien Read it here in 10 minutes. Thinking about structure and effects… O’Brien’s use of structure is amazing throughout the collection The Things they Carried; many of the stories spiral around events, revisiting them, reconsidering them, which I think reflects how memory works, especially in relation to trauma. TheContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

Book review

You Let Me In, by Camilla Bruce You can read the opening here (‘look inside’). This is a deeply disturbing novel. The protagonist, novelist Cassandra Tipp, has vanished, leaving behind what is essentially a memoir, a document containing two competing narratives about her life. In one story, Cassie tells of a vampiric 1,000-year old faerieContinue reading “Book review”

Book review

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell You can read an extract, here. I’ve just finished reading Cloud Atlas, and wanted to write a review about how amazing it is, but it’s difficult to do that while avoiding spoilers, and I really don’t want to ruin the reading experience of anyone who hasn’t read it yet, soContinue reading “Book review”

A short story I recently re-read

‘Black-Eyed Women’, by Viet Thanh Nguyen Read it here, in about 40 minutes. Thinking about metafiction… Metafiction is fiction that is self-referential. Fiction that draws attention to its own fictionality, either overtly (e.g. the narrator directly addresses the reader) or covertly (e.g. the story is about writing stories). Black-Eyed Women’ is all about the natureContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

Three stories for autumn

If you’re looking for some reading to inspire your own writing this autumn, you might like to consider some of these stories: The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield Read an excerpt here. This is a metafictional novel – a story about stories. The narrator is reminiscent of a Brontë heroine, there are references to 18thContinue reading “Three stories for autumn”