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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu LV

The Guardian reports on the honourable dealings of the much loved supermarket chain:

Writers criticise Tesco for ‘chilling’ Thai libel actions
· Leading authors sign letter to retailer’s chief executive
· Supermarket chain urged to uphold human rights


Jacob Russell looks at beginnings:

I wanted to begin with opening paragraphs rather than sentences, precisely to get past the “hook” –the workshop clincher that’s become a cliché of the genre. Though short fiction typically opens in medias res, a story that dispensed altogether with opening exposition would likely be received as “experimental,” or in some way, unconventional. The opening exposition, we all know, may establish setting, tone, introduce characters, present necessary facts; those are the obvious functions, but some of these may not come till later in the narrative, and none of them alone quite hit on what may be the defining features, those that truly begin the story–which initiate the process and stamp everything that follows with its particular identity, such that, were the writer to violate what has been laid out in that beginning, she would have to change it–or lose the story in a narrative cul-de-sac.


An interesting report from the Literary Saloon at Metaxu Cafe, on the PEN World Voices Festival in New York. An impressive line-up moderated by PW-editor Sara Nelson, and including publishers Edwin Frank (New York Review Books), Michael Krüger (German Hanser Verlag), Halfdan W. Freihow (Norwegian Font Forlag), and Morgan Entrekin (Grove/Atlantic) made for a good trans-Atlantic mix and showed up the gaps in different cultural approaches to translation and publishing.

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