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CONFESSIONS

BOOK BLOKE started this ‘Reader Confessions’ tag as follows:   OK, so i haven’t actually been tagged in this but it seemed like a fun idea and i’m doing it anyway. 1. Have you ever damaged a book? Unfortunately yes , I once dropped a harry potter book (it may have been my sisters actually) in a bucket of wallpaper paste. Other than that no,but i do break the odd spine (on books not people) , i know that to a book lover breaking a book’s spine is the 8th deadly sin but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I also buy a lot of second hand books which have already been broken but that doesn’t bother me . I also damaged a …

The Norman Mailer Center Announces Six Writers Selected for 2016 Fiction and Nonfiction Summer Fellowships at Ucross Foundation. The Norman Mailer Center Announces Six Writers Selected for 2016 Fiction and Nonfiction Summer Fellowships at Ucross Foundation Fiction Fellows are Jenessa Abrams, Cara Diaconoff, and Raghu Karnad Nonfiction Fellows are Andy Martin, Michael Nixon, and Joshua Stupple Greg Curtis will serve as Mentor New York, NY – The Norman Mailer Center announces that six writers have been selected for 2016 Fellowships in Fiction and Nonfiction, which will take place from July 8 – 25 at the Ucross Foundation. The 8th annual NMC summer fellowship program is designed to facilitate a balance between a focus on individual work and a forum for …

LEE CHILD, JONATHAN FRANZEN, AND JOUÏSSANCE ON 57TH STREET

It was typical Lee Child. Not long before he had been ranting on about how you really ought to ‘kill off all your relatives’ (speaking aesthetically, but with a definite sense that art is murder) and how much he hated all those family trees in the classic novel. He was anti-genealogy. No begats. You can’t have an XXL ex-military vigilante drifter roaming about and he has to call up his old mum every couple of weeks. Now he was saying, ‘What if his mother comes back? Madame Reacher. You know, but young. In the Resistance. A kid. Before she became a Reacher. I love that period. The Nazis marching down the boulevard. Sartre and Camus writing in the Café de …

What if Lee Child wrote “Purity” and Jonathan Franzen wrote “Make Me?”

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there is a curious correspondence, almost an alignment, between Lee Child’s Make Me and Jonathan Franzen’s Purity, published in the same month, September 2015. Both have at their core, a murder story. I think there is only one in Purity, whereas there are approximately 200 more in Make Me. Industrial-scale. Jack Reacher has to solve that puzzle. Whereas in Franzen the murderer himself has to go and blab about it. He can’t shut up about it. So the two writers must have been in touch recently – I like to imagine – just to compare notes and pass on a few tips. JONATHAN FRANZEN RE-WRITTEN BY LEE CHILD Begin with a …

REACHER SAID NOTHING: LEE CHILD AND THE MAKING OF ‘MAKE ME’ (extract)

55. ALLEGORY This really happened. But it’s sort of an allegory of what Lee feels about editing. It was when he was living in the apartment downtown, the one that looked out on the Empire State Building, the one that made me think of a cartoon with Clark Kent at a window in Metropolis. He was going away for a week or two and he wouldn’t really need his housemaid to clean the house while he was gone. On the other hand, he didn’t want to put her out of a job either. She needed the money. So he said, ‘Why don’t you do the stuff you don’t normally do? Concentrate on cleaning up the paintwork.’ He had in mind …

LEE CHILD’S FINAL WORD – SEPTEMBER 2015

‘It [MAKE ME] came out good. I keep wondering – was there a cause and effect?’ ‘You mean, with having me around keeping an eye on you.’ ‘Did it make a difference?’ ‘Well, the only couple of times I suggested anything you went in the opposite direction. Vince is a bit like that.’ ‘Vince?’ ‘Vince the dog. Mr Vince.’ He was Joel’s dog, I took him to the dog park when Joel was out of town. ‘You know, perverse, stubborn.’ ‘You probably stopped me goofing off all the time.’ ‘There’s that last sentence, for example. Look at it.’ I flipped open the last page. He had just given me a copy of Make Me. The book itself, the hardcover, freshly …