Whenever I teach Creative Nonfiction 101, I give my students a special assignment, a kind of show-and-tell for writers, to bring in a work of writing that moved them. Perhaps the most creative response came from the student who taught us a single word, saudade, a Portuguese term that is difficult to translate, meaning sadness tinged with yearning and a deep, penetrating ache. Continue reading “Love Letters”
It’s 1973. Four elderly World War I vets lie in a hospital ward. They bond, argue, reminisce, share dreams, discuss death. Donald, the one closest to the window, generously narrates to the others what’s passing by in the outside world. Continue reading “Swapping Souls”
Good news: Monsters are back.
There’s a new book out now by historian Leo Braudy tracing modern storytelling’s affair with monsters of all stripes, and a new movie titled simply, A Monster Calls. FX has ordered an eighth and ninth season of American Horror Story, which embraces the whole monster community. At the movies, we seem to finally be parting company with a long cycle of sexy vampires and hipster zombies, and turning to artisanal micro-brew monsters like M. Night Shyamalan’s new villain, a serial killer with no less than 23 personalities. Continue reading “Truth and Monsters”