“In the Jewish wisdom tradition a parable (mashal) could be a dark and ambiguous saying like a riddle, but the dominant use of parables among contemporary Jewish teachers was as a means of clarifying scriptural difficulties. As an analogy in narrative form, it could lead someone from an understanding of the familiar to an understanding of the strange.”  —  Luke Timothy Johnson, in The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation (boldface added)

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“Academic writing still usually gets taught in the first semester or two of undergraduate study. But the ability to write clearly about complex texts and ideas seems to me less a prerequisite for a liberal education than one of its distinctive achievements.” — Joseph Harris, in the preface to the 2012 edition of A Teaching Subject 

On meeting Caitlin Horrocks

October 27, 2011

This afternoon I briefly talked with Caitlin Horrocks after her reading at Coastal Carolina University.

Horrocks read “At The Zoo,” an incredible, multiple point-of-view short story from her collection This is Not Your City. I wonder if “At The Zoo” — with its fully rendered characters, humor, and heartbreak — is representative of the rest of the collection.

I’ll find out soon enough: I bought a copy of This Is Not Your City for her to sign, and I asked her about her favorite books on the craft of writing.

She said she doesn’t read as many books on craft as other writers, but she mentioned two favorites: Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern (a great book I already have!) and Ron Carlson Writes A Story by (guess) Ron Carlson.

Horrocks was a generous and friendly person. I’m glad I got to meet her, and I wish her big successes.

You can buy these three books from Amazon right here.

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