A wild strand of hair sprouts from Erin’s head, aiming vertically but with a sharp kink, as though it suddenly changed its mind. She attempts to brush it down, wetting it even in the bathroom at work, but it continues to spring back and point upwards.
When your work of fiction is sorta, kinda semi-autobiographical, you rely less on research than on memory in creating that mean kindergarten teacher clad in bright primary colors and clackety-clack high heels, or that little blond girl next door whose dress-up closet included a bridal gown, a hula skirt, and child-sized stilettos, or that beleaguered high school English teacher whose eyebrows quarreled with each other in a proxy battle with his smart-aleck class.
Remember that alcoholic you tried to help, the one you took to those meetings, those meetings you were attending yourself because you needed help to stop drinking and the only way to get it, they said at those meetings, was to give it?
Research is one of my favorite parts of being a fiction writer. It’s less stressful than the actual writing process, and even though I tend to plot out most of a book, the research winds up guiding the narrative.
I’ve hit the face of God head on. The rain falls and falls in the black night. The moon slivers white on the horizon. The highway a grey thread, unspooling.
Denny’s father bent over the bottle on the coffee table. The magic had happened, the ship was inflated — sails and all — and encased in its glass sea. The trick, now, was to get the fly out of the bottle.
In a voice both poetic and meditative, Lychack, in this work of autofiction, moves gracefully back and forth across time, as he looks for the unnamable in what happened in the past as a way to make sense of the pain and confusions of the present moment.
I describe the act of writing like this: I’m essentially a taxi driver. A story comes in and it’s my job to get it to its destination in the best way I can. And, like passengers, all my stories are different.
All quiet. Eyes are on me. The winter says I’ve got three seconds to learn how to float, or she will shrug my life out.
A catalyst for connection and empathy, The New American is also an immersive page-turner that will keep you reading eagerly to its conclusion.
My favorite of the logical fallacies is the “argument from incredulity.”
I cannot imagine that ‘x’ can be true. Therefore ‘x’ must be false.