Booknotes: Favorite Writing How-to Books Part 1

With this new series, I plan to share my favorite writing how-to books. Not all of them will be “how-to” books in the traditional sense. And not all of them will be the popular bestselling kind either. These are books that have helped me with my own writing (particularly literary fiction but also overall) and ones that I revisit from time to time. What draws me back again and again is both the content and the writing style. For me, these books have been invaluable in my personal DIY MFA curricula (more on this in a separate post later.) [Note: I might also share a handful of online blogs/sites/columns/podcasts that have been helpful.] Continue reading Booknotes: Favorite Writing How-to Books Part 1

5 short stories

Top Five Short Story Reads for June 2017

Father’s Day falls on June 18th. So here are a few short stories of fathers-and-sons and fathers-and-daughters — another double bonanza collection because there are far too many good ones out there. I had to put some aside to share for next year or this list would get too long. As always, these are free to read online — just click the story titles — so please do share and read with your own families. The stories are from these amazing writers: Ben Marcus, Jesmyn Ward, Premchand, Yu Hua, Junot Diaz, Amy Bloom, Rick Attig, Sharon Telfer, Grace Paley, Lesley Nneka Arimah, and Ian Frazier. Continue reading Top Five Short Story Reads for June 2017

Published: Great Writers and What They’re Reading (Interview with Hofstra Windmill Online)

Earlier this month, one of my stories, ‘Life Spring’, and an essay, ‘On Domestic Abuse and Saving Our Men’, were both published by Hofstra’s Windmill magazine, for which I am very grateful. Here’s an interview they also published, which focuses on what I read, why I read, what I recommend to others, and so on. Continue reading Published: Great Writers and What They’re Reading (Interview with Hofstra Windmill Online)

marginalia

Marginalia: The Decay of Lying — An Observation (essay)

This essay is from a collection titled ‘Intentions’. It is a Socratic dialogue between two (fictional) characters, Vivian and Cyril. Of course, it is written in Wilde’s trademark satiric style. As Wikipedia sums up rather nicely, it lays out four doctrines about art for art’s sake and aesthetics as below. It is important to keep in mind that Wilde was also defending the romanticism movement in art rather than the realist or post-modern movements that were going on also at the time. Though I am more a realist myself, I think there is plenty of room, even today, for understanding some of these tenets — particularly about how life imitates art more than art imitates life. Continue reading Marginalia: The Decay of Lying — An Observation (essay)

Published: On Domestic Abuse and Saving Our Men (Hofstra Windmill Online)

During my years of living and working in Silicon Valley, I met some first-generation Indian immigrant women who, despite their professional achievements, were struggling with their husbands’ anger issues, which ranged from public berating/humiliation to private beatings and more. The usual coping mechanisms for these women are to either make excuses for the men (high-stress jobs, alcohol, etc.) or to blame themselves for being somehow responsible. An Indian woman will rarely walk away from her marriage, especially if the husband is doing well professionally. Her own family is likely to view that as both her failure to hold her marriage together and her short-sightedness for her own financial wellbeing, immigrant status, etc. Additionally, as a society, we certainly do not make it easy for single women to thrive, especially if they also have to raise kids on their own. Continue reading Published: On Domestic Abuse and Saving Our Men (Hofstra Windmill Online)