Cindy's blog

An Open Letter of Apology to Ayelet Waldman by Laura

Dear Ayelet Waldman,

For years, I only knew you as Michael Chabon’s wife. Yes, I’d also read that you were a writer of some sort as well, but what mattered was that you were married to the guy who had me in thrall with the epic The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and hilariously weird Wonder Boys. What must it be like to be married to a genius like that? How did he butter his bread, what music did he listen to, what wonderful thoughts did he share with you during dinner?

Scott Spencer Walks the Line by Nick

Scott Spencer now ranks among my favorite authors. Although, it should be mentioned I haven’t completed a single novel of his. I’m working on it. I know this because of his material, what he chooses to mine for his stories. He explores the tension between passion and guilt, violence and fragility. He deals with obsession often resulting in a turning point within the story; an act after which nothing can return to the way things were. It’s not so subtle, it’s often dramatic, and it keeps you turning the page.

Love Is an Electric Eel and Other Strange Reflections on Marriage by Rebecca

Stiltsville is a wonderfully evocative setting for Susanna Daniel’s debut novel of the same name. A group of stilt houses located south of Cape Florida in Briscayne Bay, Stiltsville is both setting and theme in this gem of a novel. Categorized as domestic fiction, Stiltsville spans a generation from 1969 to 2006 and chronicles the lives of Frances and Dennis. It is the story of a marriage, and what could be a better metaphor for marriage than a home, romantically and precariously built over an ocean?

Post-Freedom Reads by Nick

I should preface my messy observations by conceding that yes, I understand authors have been tackling messy, burdened marriages as subjects for some time, perhaps even a number of years before Franzen’s Freedom gave every happy couple a microscope and tweezers to dissect their supposed happiness and civility. To the many predecessors, to all who’ve written about a messy relationship in a Pre-Franzen world, I mean no disrespect, but your blip on my radar was just too remote for me to explore.

Literature of Place

I recently heard Rilla Askew speak, and she eloquently described the influence that Oklahoma has on her writing. Eschewing classification as a regional author, she insists that Oklahoma, the place, allows her to explore American issues and ideas. Oklahoma seems to function as a character in her novels. Just read these opening lines from The Mercy Seat: “There are voices in the earth, telling truth in old stories.

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