Monday, August 29, 2011

Swimming in a Cold Sea with Ann Patchett

“If we could learn everything we needed to know about writing fiction by seeing it masterfully executed, we could just stay in bed and read Chekhov.” So we are told by Orange Prize-winning author Ann Patchett in a new Kindle single called The Getaway Car. The e-book is published by Byliner, the publishing company-social network building around long-form journalism. (An interesting experiment in its own right. You can read about Byliner here.)

Of The Getaway Car, Shirley Hong writes that the e-book, “doesn’t offer prospective writers a step-by-step guide to the craft of fiction. Instead, this primer from the highly-respected novelist mostly shares her own experiences -- her childhood dream, her life as a struggling writer who sets aside her work to make ends meet, and her ultimate success, reached with the help of teacher/mentors like Russell Banks and Grace Paley.”

Patchett is the author of Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant and, most recently, State of Wonder (Harper).

“Novel writing, I soon discovered,” she tells us in The Getaway Car, “is like channel swimming: a slow and steady stroke over a long distance in a cold, dark sea.”



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