Want to know a little secret? My novel focuses on sex, violence and money so it's near impossible for me to publish it without offending someone. So I thought, f*ck it. I'm going to write whatever the hell I want, and once it's out into the world, I let go of the outcome. Criticism, praise, or worse, crickets -- I'll take it all on the chin. As long as I know I've written what I wanted to, that in my mind equals literary success.
At one time, I figured it would be easier to write a book of short stories. I don't know why I thought this. Writing multiple stories when you can't write one story is obviously much harder. But I like coming up with titles, and for a while I had some real crackers. My thinking behind creating a title first is that it's a bit like "fill in the blanks."
With thousands of people fleeing conflicts around the world, Lawrence Hill's words could be straight out of a headline from one of today's newspapers. Prescient as the novel may seem, there's no way Hill could have known the magnitude of the refugee crisis when he started writing over five years ago. Issues of identity and belonging are, quite simply, the things he's passionate about. And, as he says, it's his duty to write about the things he cares about.
Thanks to a new partnership with the Writers' Trust and The Banff Centre, all three Fellows will also receive a two-week, self-directed residency in the Centre's exclusive Leighton Artists' Colony, a place dedicated to giving artists and writers the time and space to create in a solitary retreat environment.
As a business writer, people often ask me what books they should read to become better leaders. For years, my answer has been the same: read good fiction. If you want to learn how people think and behave, read a novel, a short story, or a play. Think of how effective we could be as leaders if we used our understanding of people to better empathize with our employees, clients, and boards.
How do you explain the unprecedented success of a trilogy of mommy porn: soft porn aimed at and read by, predominantly, women? In a word: Play. The 50 Shades of Grey books have so far sold 10 million copies in 37 countries. Admittedly, the book's shenanigans could intimidate some couples, but judging by most media reports, the effect has been just the opposite. Women find the books are sparking their libido (the sex scenes are very graphic) and men are loving that.
It was a cool spring day, and the sunlight shone kindly down on Auschwitz. Beyond the barbed wire, villagers walked briskly to church in their Sunday finest. Eva walked in queue with the other women and children toward "the showers," a place the adults knew was the gas chamber. They were 200 meters away.