All posts tagged: Fiction

Irish Writer William Trevor’s posthumous short story appears in the New Yorker magazine

“The Piano Teacher’s Pupil” by William Trevor from the June 26, 2017 issue of The New Yorker I’m very excited about the latest issue that I received this morning. The cover looks interesting and the Fiction section has a short story by an Irish writer William Trevor whose name I recognize. Regarding William Trevor’s latest New Yorker short story “The Piano Teacher’s Pupil”, the New Yorker fiction editors’ comment on Twitter: “It’s one of a few unpublished stories he left on his desk. Perhaps he wanted to go back to it; no one knows. It felt complete to us!” I first heard about William Trevor and a number of other notable Irish short story writers because of an annual short story competition the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition 2017 which I recently discovered on the internet. Sadly Irish novelist and short story writer William Trevor died in November at the age of 88. By the way, the short story writing competition looks interesting. All you have to do is write a short story in the English language of 3,000 …

Best Quotes by Julian Barnes

Julian Patrick Barnes (born 19 January 1946) is an English writer. Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for his book The Sense of an Ending (2011), and three of his earlier books had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005). He has also written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. In addition to novels, Barnes has published collections of essays and short stories. Here are a few great quotes from Julian Barnes’s publications. When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape – into different countries, mores, speech patterns – but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life’s subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic. JULIAN BARNES, A Life with Books Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. Yet nothing can replace the exact, complicated, subtle communion between absent author and entranced, present reader. JULIAN BARNES, A Life with …

2017 Summer Reading List

I admire those authors, editors and journalists who manage to do their work while reading a phenomenal number of books, about and beyond their latest project. I secretly hope that I can trick myself to read at half that speed. This year I aim to step outside of my comfort zone with these six picks. Here is a list of fiction and nonfiction books that I am planning to read this summer: Levels of Life by Julian Barnes Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov The Man Without a Shadow: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates American Gods by Neil Gaiman Just Kids by Patti Smith   The book that I’m currently reading is Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes’s new book “Levels of Life,” published in 2013. It is a small collection of essay, fiction and heartbreaking memoir. The first section, “The Sin of Height,” is a historical essay that revolves around the “aerostatic photographs” of Paris taken in 1858 by the French balloonist Nadar. I’m reading stories about 19th-century ballooning enthusiasts for the …

Of Bicycles and War: A Review of Wu Ming-yi’s ‘The Stolen Bicycle’

The latest novel by the award-winning Taiwanese author interlaces devastating events with a touch of tenderness This article was first published online by Thinking Taiwan 想想論壇 (http://thinking-taiwan.com) on December 1, 2015. Wu Ming-yi’s (吳明益) fifth novel《單車失竊記》(The Stolen Bicycle) pays tribute to the millions of soldiers who died during World War II and the countless animals and natural habitats that were destroyed in the cataclysm. Written in traditional Chinese, the novel follows the protagonist as he sets off on a search for his father’s stolen bicycle, a popular Made-in-Taiwan Happiness Brand bicycle (the brand used the slogan “Get on a Happiness, Bike Your Way to Happiness” (騎幸福牌腳踏車,踏上幸福之路). The unnamed middle-age male protagonist, a writer like Wu himself, whose father is a skilled tailor at the Chung Hwa Market, receives a letter from a reader asking what happens to the father’s bicycle left at Taipei Zhongshan Hall in his last novel,《睡眠的航線》(Route in a Dream). The letter immediately grips the protagonist’s heart and he embarks on a journey of discovery, tracing back the history of the Happiness bicycles …

Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Stories with Sandee Woodside

This month I signed up an interesting small tutor-led class, “The Great Gatsby and New York,” on a new Taipei English course shopping website called MDT. It was the most interesting classes on the list, and it was the only class that was about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works. I’m a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald and so my thoughts are completely biased. When I saw the course description, I liked it immediately and was excited about the class. I wonder what it might be like to chat about Fitzgerald’s stories with real people in real life. “The Great Gatsby and New York” class that I attended was held every Wednesday night in the month of June (3 lessons in total) after work from 7:30pm to 9pm in a small meeting room inside an old office building nearby Guting MRT station in Taipei city. The location was great for all of us and was close to National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University. The class was led by Ms. Sandee Woodside, a thirty year old writer, poet, and teacher from New …

10 of the best books set in New York

Inspired by “The Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood,” a great article from The New York Public Library Official website, I came up with a list of recommended books for readers who would like to read stories set in New York. Here are some of my favorite books set in New York. “Washington Square” by Henry James (1880) “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton (1920) “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger (1951) “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote (1958) “Jazz” Toni Morrison (1992) “Broke Heart Blues” by Joyce Carol Oates (1999) “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer (2005) “Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín (2009) “Just Kids” by Patti Smith (2010)

Writers on Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in a letter to his editor Maxwell Perkins in 1922 as he began to write the novel which became The Great Gatsby, “I want to write something new, something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” Ernest Hemingway said in his memoir A Moveable Feast, after reading The Great Gatsby, “When I had finished the book, I knew that no matter what Scott did, nor how preposterously he behaved, I must know it was like a sickness and be of any help I could to him and try to be a good friend. … If he could write a book as fine as The Great Gatsby I was sure that he could write an even better one. I did not know Zelda yet, and so I did not know the terrible odds that were against him.” His editor at Scribner, Maxwell Perkins, considered the book “extraordinary.” “You have plainly mastered the craft,” he wrote, “but you needed far more than craftsmanship for this.” T.S. Eliot reported that he had read …