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Talking with Ron Rash, April 25, 7 p.m.

“Almost all of the great books are regional books,” Ron Rash (Serena) has said. “Landscape is destiny.” We’ll be talking about his latest novel, The Cove, on April 25, at McNally Jackson.

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
W. Somerset Maugham

Random picks

  • Kate Kendall’s life is comfortably average: a nice house, three children (though strangely the blurb on my proof copy claims only two), a loving husband with a good job … Until one day, on her way back from her first holiday alone in years, she is met at the airport by the police. It seems that her respectable, honest husband has been involved in money-laundering for a prominent businessman. He has also disappeared. Gradually Kate is forced to confront a new and frightening reality. She must adjust not only to a precarious, hand-to-mouth existence with her children, but also to the idea that...
  • From Managing Editor Hattie Fletcher: "The Creative Nonfiction Foundation, publisher of the quarterly literary magazine Creative Nonfiction and In Fact Books, seeks a part-time Marketing and Circulation Associate for its Pittsburgh office. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, detail-oriented, flexible and able to work in a fast-paced nonprofit environment. Reports to the editor, but works
  • The Teleseminars Blowtorch Workout The Teleseminars Blowtorch Workout
  • Now he’s cold and he doesn’t believe it and he’s crying. Later there would be long mornings of playing in the sandbox and a pretty horrible memory that had something to do with a neighbor’s dog that had come off its leash, then a huge collection of matchboxes, one would even come from Japan, and years of trumpet lessons and a gymnastics class as well and the time everybody laughed at him because he fell off the rings and a long walk to the municipal library twice ... Translated from Hebrew by Margalit Rodgers
  • The writer, journalist and translator Sally Laird, who has died of cancer aged 54, once likened Russia, in an article in Prospect magazine, to an “impossible” lover to whom she was helplessly drawn. The writing she published testified to this love, but was also driven by a formidable intellectual curiosity. Voices of Russian Literature (1999) contains interviews with 10 contemporary writers, including Lyudmila Petrushevskaya and Vladimir Sorokin, whose work she translated. It is an exceptional book, scholarly yet intimate. Robert Chandler, a fellow translator, wrote of it: “...

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Fast fact about writing

Recently, the writer and neurologist Alice W. Flaherty has argued that literary creativity is a function of specific areas of the brain, and that writer's block may be the result of brain activity being disrupted in those areas.