Saturday, March 26, 2016

Reading on Both Sides of History

[also published on The Inkwell, Inkitt's literary blog:]

Literature—and all art, for that matter—is like the face of the moon; always changing, always presenting a new face for the reader. It changes within our own lifetime, as a book read as a teenager no longer looks the same at thirty-nine. Imagine, then, the changes over a hundred years or more, when not only ] the readers but the society itself ‘grows up.’ Some works age well, being passed from one library to another, while others become shameful reminders of old ideas, old worlds, and old thoughts. Something of this latter aspect is conveyed by the author Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea) in a letter to her editor in 1966, about one of her favorite novels, Jane Eyre. Rhys grew up in Dominica, and outsider to mainstream British life, a fact echoed in almost every book she read as a child. As she explains,

“I came to England between sixteen and seventeen, a very impressionable age and Jane Eyre was one of the books I read then. Of course Charlotte Bronte makes her own world, of course she convinces you, and that makes the poor Creole lunatic all the more dreadful. I remember being quite shocked, and when I re-read it rather annoyed. “That’s only one side—the English side.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Catching Literature on the Wing

[This article also appeared on Inkwell,'s literary column, which you can read here:]

In his essay “Reading and Writing” (2000), the Nobel Prize-winning author, V.S. Naipaul, discusses his place in the grand tradition of literature, following in the footsteps of the great immortals of literature—a daunting task even for the writer of A House for Mr. Biswas and A Bend in the River. As he explains,

“All of us who have come after have been derivative. We can never be the first again. We might bring new material from far away, but the program we are following has been laid out for us. We cannot be the writing equivalent of Robinson Crusoe on his island, letting off “the first gun that has been fired there since the creation of the world.” That is the gunshot we hear when we turn to the originators. They are the first; they didn’t know it when they began, but then…they do know, and they are full of excitement at the discovery.”

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review of The Winged Turban from Kindle Ninja Book Reviews!

Check out this great review courtesy of the Kindle Ninja, a champion e-book reviewer who previously reviewed (favorably!) my second book, The Astrologer's Portrait. This time around, he did a 'conversation review' along with another accomplished fantasy writer, Leisl Kaberry, author of The Titanian Chronicles. Click on the link below for the review--it's an entertaining read in its own right, and you don't need to know the book to appreciate (but there aren't any major spoilers, either, so it won't ruin the book, either). Thanks again, Kindle Ninja!