As I dream of spring on this cold January day, I’m reading through some old letters from my mother, written in her widowhood, and I’m struck by the sound of my own voice in hers and the lesson she offers the writer I’ll one day be about how to let the details evoke a life:…

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I’ve always been interested in the question of where the fiction writer finds material. I’m  particularly interested in how the autobiographical gets transformed into fiction. My curiosity comes not from wanting to know about the personal lives of writers, but more from a desire to provide my students a way to increase the urgency and…

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We start today with a passage from Richard Bausch’s story, “The Fireman’s Wife.” I’ve written about this story before on this blog, so I’ll only say that the story is about Jane who is close to leaving her marriage to Martin. At the end of the story, Martin has been injured while fighting a fire…

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We’re starting Spring Semester classes at Ohio State, and I’ll be teaching the MFA fiction workshop as well as an advanced undergraduate fiction workshop. A semester for lying! I’m beginning, as I often do, with Tobias Wolff’s story, “An Episode in the Life of Professor Brooke,” from Wolff’s first collection, In the Garden of the…

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