J.G. Walker

Author of the Week: Kurt Vonnegut

Nestled in the introduction to Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night is perhaps one of the most life-changing lines of writing I have ever read: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” If that statement sounds simple, it’s because it is simple. But the truth of it
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Two recent news stories have reminded me me of the ways people often react in trying situations. One story is about the recent coal mining disaster in West Virginia, and the other tells of a young Florida girl who was found after going missing for a few days. What they share is a demonstration of
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Confrontations with Reality in Richard Russo’s The Whore’s Child

Richard Russo’s collection, The Whore’s Child, features seven short stories with characters who dread coming face to face with specters from their present or past lives. Whether an elderly nun discovering her true history through the barely fictionalized story of her life, a father facing a domestically abusive son-in-law, a movie-maker meeting his wife’s ex-lover,
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Delta Blues, a collection edited by my friend Carolyn Haines, is releasing soon and has been getting lots of good press. The book’s foreword is written by Morgan Freeman, and in addition to Carolyn, contributors to the collection include James Lee Burke, Charlaine Harris, John Grisham, Ace Atkins, Alice Jackson, Suzanne Hudson, Dean James, and Les Standiford.

The Introspective Detective in Michael Chabon’s THE FINAL SOLUTION

First things first: if you haven’t read Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Chabon, you owe it to yourself to do so. People who know me will point out that I say this about every author I greatly admire, and they will be absolutely correct. However, I’ll qualify my statement by adding that if I could only recommend one author, it would very likely be Chabon. To me, he’s that good.

Part of the fun of writing fiction is being able to feature mystical, fantastic, or generally “unrealistic” characters, premises, or locations in your work. And this isn’t limited to genres like science fiction or fantasy. It also applies when your tale takes place in a setting that’s wholly unfamiliar to the reader, and it doesn’t
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I’ve reached the conclusion lately that I have a very real issue with delaying gratification. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that I’ve recently embraced the conclusion, since I’ve suspected it for a while. It’s sometimes said that “only” children are less likely to have developed the habit of putting off gratification, and I
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P.G. Wodehouse

My first introduction to P.G. Wodehouse was watching the habit-forming BBC series Jeeves and Wooster, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Of course, at the time I didn’t realize the characters of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves were Wodehouse creations, which suggests that I must have missed the huge screen credit at the beginning of each
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