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brendanmcfadden : writing   133

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Hunt for a Good Beginning. Then Write It. - The New York Times
Followers of John McPhee, perhaps the most revered nonfiction narrative journalist of our time, will luxuriate in the shipshape prose of “Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process,” a collection of eight essays that first appeared in The New Yorker, his home for more than 50 years.
writing  books  nonfiction  literature  johnmcphee  nytimes  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Celeste Ng: By the Book - The New York Times
The author of, most recently, “Little Fires Everywhere,” often returns to “The Count of Monte Cristo”: “Right now, I see it as an exploration of the complexities of good and evil and how easily one shifts into the other.
celesteng  nytimes  interview  books  writing  literature  authors  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Louis Sachar, the Children’s-Book Author Who Introduced Me to Style | The New Yorker
I first read Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books in second grade, and I felt as if I’d been psychologically recognized, like a neon fetishist discovering Dan Flavin, or a millennial stoner happening upon “Broad City.”
fiction  jiatolentino  thenewyorker  childrensbooks  kidsbooks  books  literature  writing  writers  authors  louissachar 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
A Lot Like Prayer: Remembering Denis Johnson - The New York Times
I was working as an editor at Esquire in 1990 when I sent the novelist and poet Denis Johnson a photograph I’d clipped from The New York Times of a Liberian fighter in the country’s civil war, posing at the edge of a field, resplendently horrific in a wedding gown, cradling an automatic rifle, a woman’s wig perched jauntily atop his head.
denisjohnson  nytimes  books  literature  authors  writing  writers 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
In California, Finding ‘Fat City’ With the Man Who Wrote It - The New York Times
Stockton inspired Leonard Gardner’s acclaimed 1969 novel. On the
streets with him now, it’s clear much has changed. But boxing endures.
leonardgardner  fatcity  stockton  california  boxing  writing  writers  literature  novels  nytimes 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
That Voice, Those Parties: Remembering Jean Stein - The New York Times
To conjure Jean Stein you must first imagine the voice — a soft and breathy near-whisper, by turns merry or full of steel. It was a voice suited to late-night telephone conversations and dinners at the corner tables of now-forgotten Manhattan restaurants.
jeanstein  newyork  society  nytimes  writing 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Zadie Smith on the Genius of Graham Greene - The Guardian
Graham Greene, whose centenary is next month, was a more ethically complex novelist than is usually remembered, argues Zadie Smith. The Quiet American, his love story set in the chaos of 1950s Vietnam, shows him to be the greatest journalist there ever was
grahamgreene  literature  literarycriticism  zadiesmith  writers  writing  authors  thequietamerican  theguardian  books 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Paris Review - Robert Creeley, The Art of Poetry No. 10
This is a composite interview. It combines two separate discussions with Robert Creeley—held at different times, and conducted by two different interviewers: Linda Wagner and Lewis MacAdams, Jr. The questions specifically devoted to the poet’s craft were put to Robert Creeley by Linda Wagner. She refers to the exchange as a “colloquy”—a term that Creeley insisted on because (as he put it) her questions were “active in their own assumptions … We are talking together.” She began the exchange at the 1963 Vancouver poetry sessions, continued it at Creeley’s 1964 Bowling Green, Ohio, reading, and finished it in August 1965, at the poet’s home in New Mexico.
robertcreeley  poetry  theparisreview  artofpoetry  writing  literature  interviews 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
First, Emil Ferris Was Paralyzed. Then Her Book Got Lost at Sea. - The New York Times
Like many of the best monster stories, Emil Ferris’s true-life horror tale starts with a bite. But more about that in a moment.
emilferris  graphicnovel  writing  books  nytimes 
may 2017 by brendanmcfadden
The Novelist Disguised As a Housewife
Shirley Jackson wrote 17 books while raising four children — and she couldn’t have had a successful career without them.
shirleyjackson  newyorkmagazine  writers  writing  novelists  thecut  women  motherhood 
october 2016 by brendanmcfadden
The Elitist Allure of Joan Didion
A big biography looks at the author’s legacy of cool.
theatlantic  joandidion  writers  writing  culture 
february 2016 by brendanmcfadden
The Self-Destructive Spiral of Truman Capote After Answered Prayers
“La Côte Basque 1965,” the first installment of Truman Capote’s planned roman à clef, Answered Prayers, dropped like a bomb on New York society when it appeared in Esquire’s November 1975 issue. Iced out by the friends he’d skewered—such of his “swans” as Slim Keith, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Babe Paley—Capote began his slide into an early grave. Sam Kashner pursues the scandal’s mysteries, including the fate of the unfinished manuscript.
vanityfair  trumancapote  writing  writers  culture 
february 2016 by brendanmcfadden
The Best Sentence in Atlantic History?
After the Battle of Antietam, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a gripping story about his search for his wounded son. But one of the most memorable lines had nothing to do with the Civil War.
theatlantic  writing  oliverwendellholmes  civilwar 
february 2016 by brendanmcfadden
Eve Babitz’s Powerful Mix of Sex and Intellect
The artist and author had a Los Angeles face, but a New York mind
thenewrepublic  evebabitz  art  writing  cultural  artist  writer 
october 2015 by brendanmcfadden
The Invisible Hand Behind Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
As Ms. Hohoff saw it, the manuscript was by no means fit for publication. It was, as she described it, “more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel.” During the next couple of years, she led Ms. Lee from one draft to the next until the book finally achieved its finished form and was retitled “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
nytimes  harperlee  tokillamockingbird  writing  literature  publishing  editors  editing  Tay  Hohoff 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
Lucia Berlin’s Roving, Rowdy Life Is Reflected in a Book of Her Stories
“In order to write about life, first you must live it.” That’s often attributed to Hemingway, and he would have applauded Lucia Berlin, who made fiction from her life and had a surplus of raw material.
nytimes  fiction  writers  writing  shortfiction  shortstories  luciaberlin 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
Farther Away
Now that the work was done, though, it was harder to ignore the circumstance that, arguably, in one interpretation of his suicide, David had died of boredom and in despair about his future novels. The desperate edge to my own recent boredom: might this be related to my having broken a promise to myself? The promise that, after I’d finished my book project, I would allow myself to feel more than fleeting grief and enduring anger at David’s death?
jonathanfranzen  davidfosterwallace  thenewyorker  writing  writers  literature 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
What Happened: A Look at Joseph Heller’s Forgotten Novel
THE MOST CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED great novel of the past half century is a book called Something Happened, which this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of its publication
somethinghappened  losangelesreviewofbooks  josephheller  writing  literature  books  novels  novelists  writers 
june 2015 by brendanmcfadden
"Mad Men" Creator Matthew Weiner's Reassuring Life Advice For Struggling Artists
In Getting There: A Book of Mentors, the lauded creator candidly reveals his years of struggle—and his eventual path to success.
writing  writers  screenwriting  matthewweiner  madmen  art  artists  fastcompany 
april 2015 by brendanmcfadden
At the Algonquin Hotel: A Conversation With Wes Anderson
An exclusive excerpt from ‘The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel’
art  film  movies  writing  filmmaking  grantland  wesanderson  mattzollerseitz 
april 2015 by brendanmcfadden
The Art of Screenwriting No. 4, Matthew Weiner
Born in 1965, Matthew Weiner is barely old enough to remember the period with which his television series Mad Men has now become almost synonymous. His office is exactly what one might hope for the creator of Don Draper: a stylish mixture of midcentury modern furniture, with a cabinet full of top-shelf liquor. But it turns out that the furniture came with the building, which was designed in 1955, and the liquor, mostly gifts, is wasted on Weiner, who hardly drinks at all.
madmen  screenwriting  writing  matthewweiner  theparisreview  interview  television 
april 2015 by brendanmcfadden
A Prisoner’s Reading List
While working as editorial assistant for Applause Theater Books and then an agent associate for Nancy Love Literary Agency, Daniel Genis developed an addiction to heroin, which drove him to commit five robberies with pocketknife during August 2003. In November of the same year he was identified by one of his victims, arrested and eventually convicted of five counts of armed robbery, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
prison  crime  literature  books  writers  thenewyorker  writing 
december 2014 by brendanmcfadden
'Am I Being Catfished?' An Author Confronts Her Number One Online Critic
When a bad review of her first novel appeared online, Kathleen Hale was warned not to respond. But she soon found herself wading in
author  authors  essay  psychology  writers  writing  criticism  internet  socialmedia  technology  blogs  theguardian  kathleenhale 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Believer - Interview with Ben Lerner
Ben Lerner's second novel, 10:04, is narrated by a 33-year-old author who grew up in Topeka, Kansas and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. In the first ten pages we learn he's recently received significant news from both his literary agent and his doctor.
benlerner  writing  writers  literature  thebeliever  10:04  interview 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The making and unmaking of McCabe & Mrs. Miller
So that’s what happened, according to Altman: He took an utterly conventional Western and inverted its tropes. But like the man says, yeah, these things happened, but they didn’t happen that way. McCabe was an anti-Western from its first incarnation; the miracle was that after making it through a studio development process, it remained an anti-Western.
thedissolve  mccabeandmrsmiller  film  filmmaking  writing  screenwriting  robertaltman 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson
This June, as a grandfather clock rang the quarter-hour in her modest Iowa City living room, the American novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, a woman of 70 who speaks in sentences that accumulate into polished paragraphs, made a confession: “I hate to say it, but I think a default posture of human beings is fear.” Perched on the edge of a sofa, hands loosely clasped, Robinson leaned forward as if breaking bad news to a gentle heart. “What it comes down to — and I think this has become prominent in our culture recently — is that fear is an excuse: ‘I would like to have done something, but of course I couldn’t.’ Fear is so opportunistic that people can call on it under the slightest provocations: ‘He looked at me funny.’ ”
nytimes  nytimesmag  marilynnerobinson  writing  writers  literature 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Even Bank Robbers Decide What Tie To Wear: The Essence Of Elmore Leonard
Hard to imagine having a cooler job than the one Gregg Sutter had for more than 30 years, when he served as the late Elmore Leonard's researcher. Sutter is the editor of the Library of America's Elmore Leonard anthology, which will be released in three volumes, the first of which was published a few weeks ago
thestacks  deadspin  elmoreleonard  interview  greggsutter  writing  literature  fiction 
september 2014 by brendanmcfadden
How To Handle A Repo: Chapter 1 Of Elmore Leonard's Unknown Man No. 89
Elmore Leonard had been writing for 22 years when his agent, the legendary H.N. Swanson, told him to read George V. Higgins's seminal crime novel about the Boston underworld, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. This was in 1972; Leonard was 46. He'd worked in advertising and written westerns—stories and novels—and he'd also written screenplays and the scripts for industrial films. But after reading Higgins and his expositionless, dialogue-heavy style, Leonard learned how to "loosen up" and "get into scenes quicker," and he found his voice as he turned to the crime fiction that would make him famous—beginning with a series of books set in Detroit. These novels make up the first of three volumes devoted to Leonard's writing by the Library of America. Volume one features 52 Pick-Up, Swag, Unknown Man No. 89, and The Switch
elmoreleonard  unknownmanno89  writing  fiction  deadspin  thestacks  literature 
september 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Finishing Carpenter
Jonathan Lethem on Editing Don Carpenter’s Final Manuscript
jonathanlethem  doncarpenter  theparisreview  writing  writers  literature  fridayatenricos 
august 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson
Now one of America's most legendary authors, Tom Wolfe broke out onto the national literary scene at age thirty-four with this breathless piece — an early step in the so-called New Journalism, a first reference for the term "good ol' boy," a deep breath into the future of the New South.
writing  journalism  esquire  racing  cars  juniorjohnson  newjournalism  tomwolfe 
august 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Incredible Buddha Boy by George Saunders
A legend is growing in Nepal, where people say a meditating boy hasn't eaten or drunk in seven months. He barely moves, just sits under a tree, still as a stone. It's impossible, some say. Is it a miracle? A hoax? Let's find out.
meditation  buddha  buddhists  peace  writing  life  buddhism  hoax  nepal  georgesaunders 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Art of Fiction No. 77, Nadine Gordimer
“I come to America, I go to England, I go to France…nobody’s at risk. They’re afraid of getting cancer, losing a lover, losing their jobs, being insecure. … It’s only in my own country that I find people who voluntarily choose to put everything at risk—in their personal life.”
nadinegordimer  theparisreview  interview  writing  writers  literature 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Quit Thinking, You’re Hurting the Club
JIm Brosnan broke into the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in the mid-fifties and labored on four different teams during his undistinguished career, retiring in 1963 with an overall record of fifty-five wins and forty-seven losses. He sported thick, round glasses on the mound and stocked his locker with books by the likes of John Cheever and James Thurber. His teammates took to calling him “professor.”
baseball  sports  theparisreview  thelongseason  literature  writing  jimbrosnan 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Book On Publishing
There was the author, Chad Harbach, who had spent a decade on a novel his friends thought he’d never finish. There was the agent, Chris Parris-Lamb, who recognized its power. There was the editor, Little, Brown’s Michael Pietsch, who won it in a high-stakes auction. With the story of one book, The Art of Fielding Keith Gessen examines the state of the troubled, confused, and ever unpredictable world of U.S. book publishing in the age of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and e-readers.
vanityfair  publishing  writing  writers  literature  books  theartoffielding  chadharbach  keithgessen  n+1 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
For E. B. White’s readers and family, a sense of trust came easily.
ebwhite  thenewyorker  rogerangell  writing  writers  literature 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
I Am A.E. Peoria
The late Michael Hastings wrote a novel about the last days of Newsweek—and based the main character on me.
novels  writing  journalism  michaelhastings  newsweek  slate  literature 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Horsemen, Goodbye
texasmonthly  larrymcmurtry  texas  literature  writing  thewest 
may 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Passion of Lew Wallace
The incredible story of how a disgraced Civil War general became one of the best-selling novelists in American history.
history  books  slate  literature  writing  writers 
april 2013 by brendanmcfadden
What Would DFW Do
Maria Bustillos, Eric Been, And Mike Goetzman On "Both Flesh And Not" And All Things Foster Wallace
lareviewofbooks  literature  writing  davidfosterwallace 
november 2012 by brendanmcfadden
The backstory of “The Duke in His Domain,” Truman Capote’s 1957 New Yorker profile of Marlon Brando.
cinema  film  writing  journalism  columbiajournalismreview  marlonbrando  trumancapote 
november 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Amis and Larkin: Hate in a Cold Climate
Kingsley Amis’s novel Lucky Jim has its origins in his intense and competitive friendship with Philip Larkin.
luckyjim  kingsleyamis  philiplarkin  newstatesman  books  writers  writing  literature 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Joan Didion, The Art of Nonfiction No. 1
I can’t ask anything. Once in a while if I’m forced into it I will conduct an interview, but it’s usually pro forma, just to establish my credentials as somebody who’s allowed to hang around for a while. It doesn’t matter to me what people say to me in the interview because I don’t trust
writers  literature  theparisreview  nonfiction  interview  writing  joandidion 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
"The Best TV Show That's Ever Been" - Cheers Oral History
So says Amy Poehler, and she isn't alone in thinking Cheers is pretty much perfect. On the thirtieth anniversary of the show's premiere, GQ sat down with just about everyone who made it and asked them about creating Sam and Diane, the birth of Norm!, Woody Harrelson's one-night stands, and many other secrets of what became TV's funniest guy show of all time
writing  oralhistory  gq  comedy  television  cheers 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Fridays at Enrico’s
thebeliever  literature  writing  writer  doncarpenter 
august 2012 by brendanmcfadden
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