Tag Archives: short story

Isn’t it a little coarse to go and bang on the drums just because the doorbell is ringing?

I acted in a student film once and afterwards, at the wrap party in a fusty house at the top of town, I rode an office chair down the hill, flying across the junction at the bottom, ramming the pavement … Continue reading

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Writing isn’t just about having an idea – you have to know what to do with it

I’m sitting at the bar of a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, scribbling away. A man, standing next to me, gestures at my notebook and says: what do you write? I’m actually writing about my notebook, I tell him. Some people who … Continue reading

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That tightrope moment in writing when stories either plummet or remain

Any story that’s going to be any good is usually going to change. I’ve been reading Alice Munro again. There was a point when I suddenly became afraid of the day I’d read all her stories and no more were … Continue reading

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The soft haze of mystery

The summer Jake turned fourteen, he caught a sudden glimpse of his aunt undressing – a roundness of flesh in between her body and arm as she removed her bra. His head fogged up, but through his blood came a … Continue reading

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The art of becoming an original writer in three days!

We talk about that first ‘bite’ we get as a writer, the first punch of an idea. Something catches our eye – a painting, or a conversation between two people across the room. We watch. Suddenly we start to imagine … Continue reading

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Shockproof shit detector: the editor’s perspective

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a new kind of fiction, best exemplified by the short story collections of Raymond Carver. In 1981 his best-loved collection was published. ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ recorded the … Continue reading

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Shouldn’t I be able to use all my published books as furniture by now?

  I have recently been on a hunt for Alice Munro. When I reached the Canadian border the other week, a lady in the passport control booth asked me where I was heading. Goderich, I told her, grinning ludicrously about … Continue reading

Posted in Essay, Memoir, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 43 Comments