“What a nice fire,” he said to himself. It certainly was. Kept him very warm, too.” That inspired bit of writing was Jack London’s short story To Build A Fire as summarized by someone who hasn’t read the book. Don’t worry, there are plenty more where that came from.
Most writers, unless they’re lucky enough to have an ideal place in which to work, make do with the best space available. For Colum McCann’s father, the shed in his backyard, which “always smelled damp inside, as if the rain rose up out of the carpet,” sufficed for the fiction he wrote after coming home from work. At Page-Turner, the National Book Award winner and Year in Reading alum remembers his father’s retreat.
The ongoing Hachette vs. Amazon feud has writers and publishers up in arms, but according to the Society of Authors there are no heroes in publishing.
Francine Prose has a new novel out this week, while Elizabeth McCracken has a new story collection on shelves. Also out: Chestnut Street by the late Maeve Binchy; In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman; Terms and Conditions by Robert Glancy; The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan; and new paperback editions of The Color Master by Aimee Bender and The Infatuations by Javier Marias.