Friday, 25 June 2010

A Discussion of Sherman Alexie's novel, Indian Killer

          A year after the acclaimed Reservation Blues, Sherman Alexie’s second novel, Indian Killer received reticent praise when it was published in 1996. It is a book which he, himself, seems both drawn to and repelled by. In a 2002 interview with Duncan Campbell, Alexie states ‘It’s the only one [of my books] I re-read. I think a book that disturbs me that much is the one I probably care the most about’1. He has expressed dissatisfaction with it, artistically, describing it as a failed mystery novel and ‘pretentious’ for its literary ambitions2. Maya Jaggi writes that he has now distanced himself from the novel and feels ‘overwhelming disgust’ [Alexie’s words] towards the violence portrayed3. Apparent in Reservation Blues, his previous collection of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, and his poetry, Alexie’s own rage rises to its peak in this novel, with an outpouring of fictional vengeance for historical crimes.  

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Congratulations to Barbara Kingsolver

Congratulations to Barbara Kingsolver for winning the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel The Lacuna.  Despite the guff from Sherman Alexie, I've ordered myself a copy.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

New FaceBook forum for Short Story writers

I am involved in setting up a new online forum for Postgraduate Creative Writing students working with the Short Story form. The forum is based at the University of Chichester, in West Sussex, but welcomes research students from around the world.  The forum, itself, won't go live until September, but the FaceBook group is gathering momentum and we now have students from across the UK and the United States.  Once it is up and running, the forum will provide a space for MA and PhD students to come together and share their experiences as writers and academics, test ideas, give and receive feedback on work in progress, and exchange advice and information. The site will include a blog, student-led discussion threads, links to online resources, workshops, and live question and answer sessions with professionals in the writing and publishing community. We are equally interested in engaging in discussions of a critical nature, looking at contemporary literary and cultural theory in relation to the Short Story.  Please click on the title link above, or below, and have a look at what we're doing and what we have planned.

FaceBook Rough Draft Forum.