Ever the Student of Literature

One of the most rewarding things about committing to review another author’s work is what I learn as a writer (and consequently for this gal, what it means to be human). I spent many years paying attention to poetry, literary theory, and some philosophy. This without doubt informed not only my own writing but very much how I approached the world. I won’t say that I’ve grown out of poems, I’ll probably always look at as much as possible, but I can say that I’ve been completely undone and refreshingly reformed by switching genres. In other words, I’ve taken to writing fiction, and so I’m reading and writing about it with vigor.

I jumped in to Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels over the summer, imbibing all four in less than two weeks. I squeezed a few listicles out of that exercise for Bustle. Happily I’ve moved on to author interviews for Bookslut and reviews for a variety of venues. I’ve conversed with Jill Bialosky, made two different responses to OR Books’ True/False by Miles Klee, and eked out a ditty on Lydia Davis for Grub Street.

Now I’m immersed in Helle Helle. She’s possibly Denmark’s most popular and revered author. Her first novel to be translated into English is coming out in the US in January with Soft Skull. I’m reviewing it and also interviewing her. I’ll have much more to say on her work in those pieces, so I won’t go into it here now. But please do yourself a favor and start with two of her stories that are available online in English. Here are some links:

It Could Be Grass

Wedding Watcher

And here is an author photo I could never pull off but would not so secretly love to:

Helle Helle
Helle Helle

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