Life in the fast lane and bookish news

Happy Friday!

I'm working on my homework today and this weekend. For the the first module of the course have 3 questions to work on and discuss with my online Modern Fiction class, plus a reflective essay to complete.

1) Discussing the cross fertilization of Art and Literature - Choose one piece of Dada, impressionist or surrealist and explain how the art relates to some of the literary themes, components and concerns in modernism. Since impressionism is my favorite, will be going with that style.

2) Discuss one cultural or historical influence (ie art, history, psychology, science or technology) on the development of literary modernism you find interesting.

3) Chose one major modern writer (such as Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Beckett, Yeats, Kafka to name a few) and provide a one paragraph biography and a list of their most important contributions to the genre.

And write a reflective essay for the professor specifically addressing why chose this course, what expectations are and what are your strengths and weaknesses as a student.

That aught to keep me busy for a while, don't you think. And yes, I had all last week and this week to work on it, but for some crazy reason just didn't get around to it until now. I always do this the first couple weeks of a new class. It takes a bit of time to get back into it and work it in the swing of things. So while I'm working on that, I'll leave you with an interesting email I received this morning.

I recently reviewed James LePore's debut novel "A World I Never Made" and he wrote this letter to his editor to share with all who took the time to review his book.

"I am sure that I am not the first to recognize that writing is a solitary, and isolating, affair. There is the writer, his or her imagination, and the computer, with occasional forays onto the internet, also via the computer, to do research. Since I had written two previous novels, neither of which had gotten published, I often asked myself, as I was writing the third--which turned out to be A World I Never Made--why was I still writing?

There are things I like about isolation and the mysterious process of creating fiction, but--and this is something I have only learned very recently--process is only one half of the equation. The other half is the realization that once a book is published it will actually be read.

I will be grateful always for your willingness to read A World I Never Made a first novel by an unknown writer with no credentials except the fact that he made the effort and a few people believed in him. The positive things you said were a thrill to read, and have begun to make me think--tentatively--that I really am a writer."

Jim LePore
South Salem
May 1, 2009

How awesome is that! Think about how you can make a difference in the life of a new author. Instead of picking up one of your old stock favorites, pick up one of those debut novels you keep passing up.

What new authors have you discovered lately?


  1. I love Lois-Ann Yamanaka's "Blu's Hanging", which isn't exactly new but is not as well-read as it should be (and I don't get why ... one of the best).

  2. Great comments by LaPore - and ones I can well relate to. I remember that dawning on me the day before publication and I was scared out of my wits about what would happen next.

    Your course work sounds invigorating! Makes me miss school. Have a great weekend.

  3. First off, that sounds like some heavy and intense homework!!! Secondly, what a cool letter from Jim LePore!!! how exciting to know that you played a part in how he feels...that he really is a writer. I'm looking forward to reading his book all because of your review.

    New authors: almost every book I've read this year has been a new to me author!! Too many to list!!


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