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To listen or to read?

I’ll admit it. I listen to books. But if I really love what I’m reading, I also buy the hard copy and at some point switch to the book itself. I can’t help defaulting to the familiar and gratifying combination of holding the object of my interest. How many times have I rested an open […]

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How to Give a Reading

Don’t look the first row in the eye; they have been forced to sit there because they got here late. Don’t be disappointed by your host’s introduction, which has consisted entirely of reading from your book jacket. Try not to drool on the microphone like last time. Try not to think about that dream you […]

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Nine Signs You’re a Neurotic Writer

You subscribe to eight journals but only read the contributor notes when they come. * You are on page 50 of the first draft of your novel but have rewritten the opening sentence 60 times. * You write an angry letter to the editor who has held your story, essay, or poem for six months […]

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The Ten Most Obnoxious Comments a Writer Can Make

I have too much free time. I’m exhausted from my book tour. My agent wants me to go on The Daily Show. Should I? I wish my publicist wouldn’t call so early. Are stocks still the best way to go for such a large advance? I got a headache reading over my 23-page contract. My […]

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That’s Private

A word about my father: If there’s anyone I’ve written about directly it would be him, a born salesman who sold furniture for fifty years, working since he was thirteen and taking over as head of the family when his father died. And who called me Stevie all my life, as in Stevie, tell me […]

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