What I remember: buying a ticket to Hebden Bridge on the train, certain that the conductor would judge me as another American Plath girl if I asked for Heptonstall. The tough climb uphill to the churchyard. The sweeping view across the moors on that bright summer’s day.
We want to be able to count the seven gables, walk through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, locate the port that Captain Ahab sailed from, and verify whether the author got it right, whether the storyworld resembles our own.
I imagine Geach and Wallace in the lecture halls, in the libraries – the famous Radcliffe Camera at the Bodleian, maybe, not so different from the room where I read their work. They’re greedily soaking up Western literature. They’re searching for themselves, but they keep finding the same stupid story: a woman experiences a sliver of life, then kills herself because of a man.
I count my MFA as one of the best things I’ve ever done. Yet sometimes I do find myself wondering: Could I have found what I was looking for some other way? How did it work, exactly, in the age of patrons and salons?
As I pursued this line of inquiry, the story of Hayford Hall came to light.
Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the ALA’s Alex Award, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including…
Because there is a new Marilynne Robinson novel, there is a new Marilynne Robinson profile in the New York Times. I think you should all read it. Robinson is so perfect, as a writer, that I often postpone reading her new books (oh, speaking of: buy Housekeeping, buy Gilead, buy Home, make some tea, adopt some cats, acquire a cloak and a house in the woods, live a different kind…
Nancy Hale came into my life as a bit of an accident. I had published a tiny review in a literary magazine, of which I was stupidly and inordinately proud, and received, along with the magazine, a copy of a new collection of some of Nancy Hale’s short stories accompanied by new criticism. The subtitle of the collection described the book as “Of the Life & Work of a Lost American Master.”
Ernest Hemingway, affectionately nicknamed "Big Mama" by his fans, was well known among writers of his generation for his yearly Christmas "back rub gift certificates" and gifts of crocheted socks. Every year Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald rented a lakeside condo together in New Hampshire to work on their trust falls. Hemingway invented capri pants and the concept of "Let's just stay in tonight" even after you've already promised to go to a party.
Amy Spalding is a pet enthusiast and young adult fiction author. She grew up outside of St. Louis, and now lives in Los Angeles with two cats and a dog. She and I ate brunch and discussed our mutual hatred for sad commercials featuring dogs.
Let’s get down to brass tacks. What is your dog’s name, and what breed is she?