Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Nathan Whitlock's blog

Service Industry Hell (Part 6): Service Industry Heaven!

A lot of the inspiration for my new book, Congratulations On Everything, came from the things I saw while working in bars, restaurants, and hotels, and from the experiences of friends who did the same. Recently, I asked people* on Facebook and Twitter to send me their wildest stories of working in the service industry trenches - in part to show that, however cringey things get in the book, the reality is worse. But also because I find these inherently fun to read.

*to whom I promised anonymity, in order to protect the relatively innocent

 

The Problem With First Books

In an interview with New York magazine’s Vulture blog, comic book creator Brian K. Vaughan makes clear his feelings about his early work:

Do you go back and read many of your older books?
Oh, God, no. I now have enough distance from a lot of my work that, if I see someone bring up an X-Men issue [that I wrote] to sign, I can flip through it and it doesn’t completely feel like I’m drowning or being set on fire. But for the most part, no, I would much rather read other people’s writing than my own.

Service Industry Hell (Part 5): Sex in Cemeteries and a Dancing Monkey

A lot of the inspiration for my new book, Congratulations On Everything, came from the things I saw while working in bars, restaurants, and hotels, and from the experiences of friends who did the same. Recently, I asked people* on Facebook and Twitter to send me their wildest stories of working in the service industry trenches - in part to show that, however cringey things get in the book, the reality is worse. But also because I find these inherently fun to read.

*to whom I promised anonymity, in order to protect the relatively innocent

 

This tale comes from "DE":

Women's Covers and Male Privilege

The default look for works of literary fiction, especially those written by women, was once this: “A stock image of a woman with her back to the camera, gazing over a shoreline.”

(Or a tree. Or a field. Or a blurred-out countryside.)

That’s how designer Jennifer Heuer describes the covers she often gets asked to create, despite the fact that her strengths as a designer lie in creating striking, memorable images using type and illustration. In an essay for Literary Hub, Heuer writes about the fraught gender politics that surround cover design:

Service Industry Hell (Part 4): T-Shirts Wet and Dry

A lot of the inspiration for my new book, Congratulations On Everything, came from the things I saw while working in bars, restaurants, and hotels, and from the experiences of friends who did the same. Recently, I asked people* on Facebook and Twitter to send me their wildest stories of working in the service industry trenches - in part to show that, however cringey things get in the book, the reality is worse. But also because I find these inherently fun to read.

*to whom I promised anonymity, in order to protect the relatively innocent

A Defence of Plagiarism That I Totally Stole from Kenneth Goldsmith

Avant-garde poet and literary provocateur Kenneth Goldsmith has dedicated himself to what he calls “uncreative writing” – that is, creating art out of found texts he copies out whole. His book Day, for example, consists of every word printed in the September 1, 2000, edition of The New York Times, the classifieds and stock pages included.

Work Lit

Many of the reviews I’ve received for my books so far have made some reference to the idea that I tend to write about people who work for a living. I’m not complaining – honestly, I’m delighted that enough such reviews exist to be able to spot a trend, and complaining is verboten, anyway – but it does sometimes feel as though I am being singled out for having discovered an exotic tribe, a strange subculture of people whose life rhythms are dictated by work schedules and the arrival of paycheques.

Writers on Donald Trump

Some literary smarm and alarm to mark the occasion of the wildest, most Godwin's Law-baiting political nominating convention ever.

 

“Trump is a pugnacious idiot with no real understanding of how government works.” – Stephen King

 

“Just yesterday I was wondering if Trump studied Rob Ford as example of narcissistic clown getting away with stuff. But now the joke's over.” – Andrew Pyper

 

Art vs Writing, Writing vs Art

On the Ploughshares blog author Annie Weatherwax writes about the connections between visual art and literature, going so far as to say the former gave birth to the latter. Writing and art, she claims, are so inextricably linked in the human brain that there is very often a natural overlap in aptitudes – many writers like to paint, draw, or sculpt, just as many artists feel an urge to write. As examples, she offers Gunter Grass, John Updike, S.J. Perelman, Flannery O’Connor, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and more.

Service Industry Hell (Part 3): Rats in the kitchen and drunk girls on the floor

A lot of the inspiration for my new book, Congratulations On Everything, came from the things I saw while working in bars, restaurants, and hotels, and from the experiences of friends who did the same. Recently, I asked people* on Facebook and Twitter to send me their wildest stories of working in the service industry trenches - in part to show that, however cringey things get in the book, the reality is worse. But also because I find these inherently fun to read.

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