What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction

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Alice McDermott Lets Beautiful Language Chase Her

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At Bomb Magazine, Alice McDermott discusses her first collection of nonfiction, What About the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction, where she dissects everything from voice, language, and the trap of beautiful writing. “Don’t strain after the beautiful language,” she says. “The language will find you if what you’re going after is something true and authentic. Auden said, ‘Truth, like love and sleep, resents approaches that are too intense.’ Straining after beauty is the same thing. Don’t do it too directly. Let the language find you, rather than chasing after it too directly and self-consciously.”

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