Berfrois

Jessica Sequeira: The Fate of the Meadowlark

Jessica Sequeira: The Fate of the Meadowlark

Since a few hours ago, when we wrote those short notes to each other, I’ve been to a meeting of the Failed Novelists Society. This was partly an attempt to advance a story...

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Sold! Or Not

Sold! Or Not

A few years ago I started collaborating with a client on her first book. When we signed the papers, in addition to including the fee structure and the schedule, I added one important stipulation: There is no guarantee that this book will sell.

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A story of psychic descent and personal disintegration…

A story of psychic descent and personal disintegration…

I missed Guillaume Nicloux’s film The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq on its release in 2014. What a mistake...

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Sex Studies by Genia Blum

Sex Studies by Genia Blum

Bad girls sleep with bad boys. They get pregnant and, when everyone finds out, they have to leave school. Only married people are allowed to sleep together...

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Joe Linker: Bells

Joe Linker: Bells

Manual typewriters contained a bell that rang to signal the coming of the end of a line. The typist could adjust where along the line the bell might ring.

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Sylvia Warren: Includo

Sylvia Warren: Includo

I cannot let strangers into my house. What is inside is too difficult to explain, too grotesque, but you must understand I am still her mother, and I still love her.

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Amy Glynn: Head Trained

Amy Glynn: Head Trained

It’s April, only a few days past budbreak. The tiny new leaves on the gnarled vines are the translucent baby-green of a peridot and have something of the same vitreous luster.

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Scherezade Siobhan: Malpaís / Badlands

Scherezade Siobhan: Malpaís / Badlands

I don’t go to poems for skillful ease or what’s rote. I come seeking an empathic witness, what the Sufi calls ruhul seyrani—the moving soul, frequently illegible.

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‘What I did in life, I did with books’

‘What I did in life, I did with books’

I’ve always been aware of being an inconsistent personality. Of having a lot of contradictory voices knocking around my head. As a kid, I was ashamed of it.

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Portrait of a Londoner

Portrait of a Londoner

Nobody can be said to know London who does not know one true cockney - who cannot turn down a side street, away from the shops and the theatres, and knock at a private door in a street of private houses.

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“my right arm hurts so much”

“my right arm hurts so much”

Last summer, I woke up one morning to find my right hand couldn’t grab the doorknob to turn it open. The next thing I knew was that no matter how many times I shook it, it remained numb.

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Wright From the Bottle

Wright From the Bottle

The decades of near-silence that came in the wake of Charles Wright’s trilogy of short novels seem almost as aberrant and disquieting as the novels themselves.

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Pia Ghosh-Roy: The Wingspan of a Moth

Pia Ghosh-Roy: The Wingspan of a Moth

The moth is blackish-brown, as nondescript as a Tuesday. But it is not a Tuesday, it is a Friday. I see the moth on the windowpane as I’m about to leave for work...

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Leon Craig Reviews Berfrois: The Book and Queen Mobs Teahouse: Teh Book

Leon Craig Reviews Berfrois: The Book and Queen Mobs Teahouse: Teh Book

Anyone who thinks fiction and poetry are dying art forms needs to stay at home and get online more. As Russell Bennetts wrote in The Digital Critic ‘the revolution might not be televised...

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Natalie Lawrence on the Minotaur

Natalie Lawrence on the Minotaur

It all started on the shores of Crete, when the waves parted in a swirling, foaming mass and a bull emerged, crocus white and docile as a dove, with horns like polished olive branches.

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‘Experiment, symbols, allegory: reviewers don’t often like them’

‘Experiment, symbols, allegory: reviewers don’t often like them’

What reviews have in common is that they must all in some degree be re-creations: reshapings of what the novelist has already shaped.

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Follow Caroline Calloway?

Follow Caroline Calloway?

When I was a sophomore in college, I took a creative-nonfiction workshop and met a girl who was everything I wasn’t. The point of the class was to learn to write your own story...

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Eric D. Lehman on Key West

Eric D. Lehman on Key West

by Eric D. Lehman It is in Key West I first decide to become anonymous. In an age when everyone was constantly signaling their existences, I would turn out the lights, disappear into the background of the painting, unplug from the matrix of the modern world. I would unbecome....

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Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #9

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #9

Karen—hurt and vengeful and angry to see herself depicted in Sarah’s novel as a weird, flattened, stereotype of herself—has come to the reading hoping to “bump” the turntable...

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Jessica Sequeira on Zenaida Suárez

Jessica Sequeira on Zenaida Suárez

La Nueva Novela  is a challenge starting from its title. Neither new nor a novel—putting it firmly in a line of puzzling Chilean monikers like Isla Negra...

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Eli S. Evans: Double Bind

Eli S. Evans: Double Bind

So let us suppose for a moment that we (whoever we happens to be) were indeed able to put our politics aside, thus creating the necessary conditions, according to this detectably emotional woman...

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