We Met Beckett at the Bar

by Barney Rosset


In this excerpt from the collection of correspondence and ephemera Dear Mr. Beckett: Letters from the Publisher, Grove Press's infamous and revolutionary Barney Rosset describes the first time he met the future Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett.







Family Histories

by Roxana Robinson 


In this essay, award-winning author Roxana Robinson writes about the fascinating subject of her uncle, Dr. William Beecher Scoville, a neurosurgeon who inspired a character in her novel Cost. Scoville was also the subject of his grandson Luke Dittrich's recent nonfiction book, Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets. Robinson explores the concept of building character from reality for both fiction and nonfiction, and the hold that family has on our imagination. READ MORE





A Tribute to Edith Grossman 


Honoring one of the most celebrated literary translators of our time on the occasion of her 80th birthday. 








Moby-Dick and In the Heart of the Sea

by Sheridan Hay 


Author Sheridan Hay looks at the legacy of popular whaling stories and the lasting reach of Melville's classic. 







Appreciating Tillie Olsen

by Katherine Arnoldi


On the publication of Tell Me a Riddle, Requa 1 and Other Works, Katherine Arnoldi reflects on the revered author, Tillie Olsen. 







The Devil and Gustave Flaubert

by Tom Piazza


Tom Piazza responds to our roundtable discussion of legendary author and editor Gordon Lish and shares an excerpt from his own book Devil Sent The Rain







On Alice Munro

by Roxana Robinson


Roxana Robinson, the author of such works as Sweetwater and Sparta, writes an appreciation of the masterful short story writer Alice Munro. 







Learning from Lish:

A Roundtable on Style in Fiction

by David Winters, Greg Gerke, Jason Lucarelli


Three writers discuss the legacy of Gordon Lish, writer and editor.







Remembering Oscar Hijuelos

by Frederic Tuten


Author Frederic Tuten remembers his student and friend Oscar Hijuelos. 







Ha Jin on Literature and Evil


At the 2012 AWP conference, The Center for Fiction hosted a panel Literature and Evil with Ha Jin, Marilynne Robinson and Paul Harding, moderated by Noreen Tomassi. Here, the author of Nanjing Requiem elucidates his views on the danger of seeing evil as "other". 







On Bernard Malamud

by Boris Fishman


The author of A Replacement Life reflects on the life of Bernard Malamud on the anniversary of what would have been his 100th birthday. 









Remembering John Updike

by Roxana Robinson


The author of Sparta looks back at one of her literary mentors. 







Dispatch from Montana

by Kevin Canty


The writer responds to the 2011 oil spill in Montana. 









The Strange, Beautiful, Subterranean Power of Fairy Tales:

A Forum Moderated by Kate Bernheimer


We asked Kate Bernheimer—author of a trilogy of brilliantly subversive tales, fairy-tale anthologist and champion-in-chief of the numinous world of Once Upon a Time, and founder and editor of Fairy Tale Review, why fairy tales deserve more respect. She answered—and then gathered celebrated writers Kevin Brockmeier, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Timothy Schaffert, and Maria Tatar to tell us more. READ MORE





On Lydia Davis

by Roxana Robinson


The author of Sparta reflects on a master of the short story form. 









Do Women Write "Tosh"?

by Roxana Robinson 


The author Sparta responds to V. S. Naipaul.








In Praise of Edith Wharton

by Roxana Robinson


A look at the classic author by Roxana Robinson. 








Remembering Barney Rosset

by Kate Morris 


The legendary editor's cousin, recalls his impulsive genius—and celebrates a legacy of fearless curiosity.








In Response to Jonathan Franzen's New Yorker piece on Edith Wharton

by Roxana Robinson


"Jonathan Franzen (in his essay in The New Yorker, “A Critic at Large”) addresses “the problem of sympathy” for Edith Wharton. It’s a serious matter, by his account: He finds Wharton hard to like. His reasons are personal and class-related: He castigates Wharton for her privileged family, her looks, her too few women friends, her too many famous male friends, her money, her sexual ignorance, her charmlessness, and her methods of travel."







Remembering Doris Betts: Courage and the Southern Writer

by Marjorie Hudson 


"Doris Betts died Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Araby Farm in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Yes, the farm was named for the James Joyce story, and not coincidentally for the up to 17 Arabian horses it kept, a passion of her husband, Judge Lowry Betts. She was author of six novels and three collections of short stories, and won many awards for her writing...."







A Quiet Giant

by Dawn Raffel


Merill Joan Gerber's novels and stories are worth discovering and re-discovering. 







Remembering Robert Stone

by Roxana Robinson


"When I first read Robert Stone’s work I was struck by the beauty of the sentences. That’s the way a writer reads, listening to cadence and rhythm and beauty, and that’s what first draws your respect and attention. Also the perfect economy of his prose: 'Father Egan left off writing, rose from his chair and made his way – a little unsteadily – to the bottle of Flor de Cana which he had placed across the room from his desk.'(From A Flag for Sunrise)."









The Chilling Aftermath of War

An excerpt from David Finkel's

Thank You For Your Service


"Two years later: Adam drops the baby.  


The baby, who is four days old, is his son, and there is a moment as he is falling that this house he has come home to seems like the most peaceful place in the world. Outside is the cold dead of 3:00 a.m. on a late- November night in Kansas, but inside is lamplight, the warm smell of a newborn, and Adam’s wife, Saskia, beautiful Saskia, who a few minutes before had asked her husband if he could watch the baby so she could get a little sleep."









Young Charlie Parker

by Stanley Crouch 


"It was late autumn when Charlie Parker sidled up to one of the guys standing outside the 65 Club, on Fifty-Fifth Street at Michigan Avenue, and no one thought he might be dreaming about music. They gave him a look that was short on contempt but long on experience. These were night people, men in possession of the electricity, the anarchy, the pride, the suspicion, and the doubt of the times. They knew how it went. Whatever it was, they saw it coming." 





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