ESSENTIAL READING

The Book Drop: Whatever Happened to Kathleen Collins? 

by Jon Michaud


For this month’s Book Drop, our head librarian Jon Michaud examines Kathleen Collins’s posthumously published short story collection Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? Michaud discusses Collins’s use of cinematic elements, themes of race, and the parallels between the collection and Kia Corthron’s The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter

 

"With the exception of one story and a short play, Collins never published anything in her lifetime, which makes the arrival of this book feel like an unexpected gift." read now

Congratulations to Cal Morgan! 


The Center is thrilled to offer our congratulations to our Board Chairman, Cal Morgan, on his new position as a VP/Executive Editor at Riverhead Books. Formerly at HarperCollins, Cal has worked with writers Jess Walter, Roxane Gay, Tom Piazza, and many more. Check out this great interview with Cal on Lit Hub to find out more about his work. 

 

And you'll learn even more about Cal's reasons for doing what he does in this interview from a few years ago where he talked about how books draw us in, his love of editing, and his hopes for The Center. 

Four Surprising Influences on 

We Love You, Charlie Freeman

by Kaitlyn Greenidge

 

We asked First Novel Prize finalist Kaitlyn Greenidge to talk about some of the unusual influences behind her fantastic novel We Love You, Charlie FreemanHere, she discusses how a powerful nonfiction book, a country music song, a holiday movie, and a little corner of Boston all contributed to her debut novel. 

 

"We Love You, Charlie Freeman is as much a frustrated love story between Charlotte and her friend Adia, as it is a novel about a family. This song is the epitome of the word 'bereft' and I imagine if Charlotte knew it existed, she would have worn out her Walkman rewinding it to listen to it over and over again." READ NOW 

Silenced Voices

by Sheila Kohler

 

Center for Fiction favorite Sheila Kohler (author of the new hit memoir Once We Were Sisters), will lead a reading group for us called Silenced Voices, starting on March 13th. The group will investigate three classic works of literature, and three newer works inspired by them. In this essay, Kohler discusses the reinterpretation of characters from those classic works. Kohler herself will be diving into the celebrated character of Sonya from Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment in a forthcoming novel. READ HER ESSAY NOW


Interested in Kohler's reading group? Sign up here.

Scenes & Summary

by Patricia Park


One of the first lessons of writing is "show don't tell," but if every writer stuck to that we'd be reading 5,000 page books. In this new craft essay, Patricia Park gives advice on knowing when to write a detailed scene and when to skip ahead! READ


And don't miss Patricia Park's one-day workshop where she'll explore this topic even more. Show vs. Tell—The Art of Summarizing or Dramatizing a Scene will take place at the Center on February 25th. 

Fictional Reinventions 

by Dawn Tripp

 

The bestselling author of Georgia, Dawn Tripp, recommends five novels that reassemble and illuminate the lives of their subjects. Each of these books takes a figure—either from history or literature—and gives them new life on the page. 

 

"Penelope’s lyrical, scathing account reveals the quietly one-sided assumptions at the heart of Homer’s myth and reminds us there are many ways to protest—you can stand up, speak out, sing, march, sit in, sit down. You can make art, listen, bear witness. You can tell a side of a story that has never been told." READ more

Announcing Our Newest Spring Bootcamp:

Writing Resistance with Maaza Mengiste

 
What is the good of humane values? What is the purpose of literature in times like this? What can we do, as engaged members of the literary community, to ensure a better world for ourselves and the next generation? Writers have been asking these questions for centuries and offering responses that range from somber to satirical, but always vital. Join Maaza Mengiste on Saturday, March 18th for an afternoon of carefully curated readings from writers who have flourished creatively despite repressive regimes and discussion designed to engage and inspire both readers and writers of fiction alike. Learn more.



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The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit literary organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and we work every day to connect readers and writers. 

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