Skip the Paris Cafés And Get a Good Pen – A few days ago novelist and short story writer Mark Helprin offered some sound and gloriously writing advice of a retro nature, in the Wall Street Journal’s Word Craft column. Aside from advocating the use of pen and paper, he urges the aspiring writer to stay away from Parisian cafés. This is the stand out part of the article for me, even with a misspelling of ‘moleskine’ :
Never write in a café, especially in Europe. Ever since Hemingway, this has been the literary equivalent of what in mountain climbing is called the “tech weenie” (that is, someone who cannot get a foot off the ground but is weighed down with $10,000′s worth of equipment). Literary skill, much less greatness, cannot be had with a pose, and exhibitionism extorts the price of failure. Also, have pity on the weary Parisians who have wanted only a citron pressé but have been unable to find a café where every single seat is not occupied by an American publicly carrying on a torrid affair with his moleskin.
Scotiabank Giller Prize 2012 shortlist announced – Montrealer Kim Thuy and Calgarian Will Ferguson are two of the five authors chosen for this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. Also making the shortlist for Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, is Montreal’s Alix Ohlin and Nancy Richler and Halifax-raised author and journalist Russell Wangersky. For full details please visit the Prize website.
“Us slow-poke writers are a dying breed” – Over at The Sunday Rumpus yesterday, Gina Frangello posted a lengthy and insightful interview with Junot Díaz, in which he discusses, amongst others things, his latest short story collection This Is How You Lose Her, his most enduring character, Yunior, and the reasons for the slow pace of his writing. Well worth a read.