Author of the Week, Sarah Waters, August 2

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK,  August 2

Sarah Waters

(Historical Novels)

 

 

“I knew I’d always be a second-rate academic, and I thought, Well, Id rather be a second-rate novelist or even a third-rate one.”

“Respect your characters, even the ­minor ones. In art, as in life, everyone is the hero of their own particular story; it is worth thinking about what your minor characters’ stories are, even though they may intersect only slightly with your protagonist‘s.”

“I never expected my books to do even as well as they have. I still feel grateful for it, every single day.”

 

 

Sarah Waters,  born July 1966, is an award-winning Welsh novelist. She is best known for her novels set in Victorian society. Author of six novels, Tipping the VelvetAffinityFingersmithThe Night Watch and The Little Stranger, which have been adapted for stage, television and feature film in the UK and US. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and she has won the Betty Trask Award; the Somerset Maugham Award; The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award; the South Bank Show Award for Literature and the CWA Historical Dagger.

 The Society of Authors interviews Sarah Waters, “Afternoon Tea”: (45 minutes)

 

 

Visit Sarah Waters Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Waters/e/B001K86U3C

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

 

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The Mysterious Magic Shop

The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells (1903)

Monday’s Tale of Magic  July 26, 2021

 

Conjuring, the real and the unreal, glass balls, demons clinging to a coat sleeve, charming illusions and evil magic. The elements of magic in fiction are often mesmerizing. H.G. Wells takes these powers beyond our normal physical limitations,  doubt, and desires.  Come meet Gip and his father as they enter  The Magic Shop  on Regent Street in London. Gip is a boy who believes in the reality of magic, as all children do in their innocence and trust. But the father wants to draw the line with intelligence and practicality. The Magician’s many marvels carry mysterious weight and entertainment.  Listen for the touch of philosophical talk going on beneath the illusion of The Magician pulling out streams of colored paper from the father’s hat.

“The crumpled paper rose and billowed on the counter more and more and more, until he was nearly hidden from us, until he was altogether hidden, and still his voice went on and on. “We none of us know what the fair semblance of a human being may conceal, sir. Are we all then no better than brushed exteriors, whited sepulchres–“

This is a beautifully written little tale with a thought-provoking ending.  Listening to the audio will capture you!

Read at Online-literature.com:

http://www.online-literature.com/wellshg/10/

 

Listen to the Audio:

 

 

H. G. Wells  (1866-1946) is well known in literature as a futurist and a literary sensation with his sci-fi novels The Time Machine and War of the Worlds.  Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945), his last book, was a vision of the future as nightmare. Author of more than 100 books, he  described his stories as “a miscellany of inventions.” Wells died on Aug. 13, 1946, in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For lovers of  H.G Wells, you might like this historical fiction The Haunting of H.G Wells by Robert Masello: A plot against England that even the genius of H. G. Wells could not have imagined.

REVIEW: “Masello takes us on a wild ride through twentieth-century Europe as Wells goes up against foes both physical and paranormal, teaming up with his suffragette partner to save the world. This is history unlike anything you learned in high school.”  Adrienne Procaccini, Editor

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

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 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

 

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

 

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Author of the Week, Jeff VanderMeer, July 19

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 19

 

Jeff  VanderMeer

(Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Weird Fiction, Novels and Short Stories, Literary Critic, Editor, Publisher)

 

“Imbuing fiction with a life that extends beyond the last word is in some ways the goal: the ending that goes beyond the ending in the reader’s mind, so invested are they in the story.”

“A dream inspiring a story is different than placing a description of a dream in a story. When you describe a character’s dream, it has to be sharper than reality in some way, and more meaningful. It has to somehow speak to plot, character, and all the rest. If you’re writing something fantastical, it can be a really deadly choice because your story already has elements that can seem dreamlike.”

“Trust your imagination. Don’t be afraid to fail. Write. Revise. Revise. Revise.”

“It is the nature of the writer to question the validity of his world and yet rely on his senses to describe it. From what other tension can great literature be born?”

“Fiction is in constant conversation with itself.”

Jeff  VanderMeer (born  1968) is an American author, NYT bestselling writer, called “the weird Thoreau” by the New Yorker for his engagement with ecological issues. Initially associated with the New Weird literary genre, VanderMeer crossed over into mainstream success with his bestselling Southern Reach trilogy. He also wrote the world’s first fully illustrated creative-writing guide, Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction.  Among VanderMeer’s  novels are Shriek: An Afterword and Borne. He has also edited with his wife Ann VanderMeer such influential and award-winning anthologies as The New Weird, The Weird, and The Big Book of Science Fiction. His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic.com.

Interview with Jeff VanderMeeer (7 minutes):

 

 

The Fictive Imagination in the Dusk of the Anthropocene. Sonic Arts Festival:

 

 

Detective John Finch is about to come face-to-face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever. Why does one of the victims most resemble a man thought to have been dead for a hundred years? What is the murders’ connection to an attempted genocide nearly six hundred years ago? And just what is the secret purpose of the occupiers’ tower? A three-book series.

Visit VanderMeer’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-VanderMeer/e/B000APJW4U

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on

Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, Anne Morrow Lindberg, July 12

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 12

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

(Aviation Pioneer, Diarist, Fiction, Nonfiction, Inspirational Author)

“The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask. I have shed my mask.”

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”

“It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core.”

“I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.”

“Only love can be divided endlessly and still not diminish.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906 to 2001), an American author, aviator, and the wife of Charles Lindbergh is the author of the book, Gift from the Sea (considered required reading for every woman in modern society), a bestseller filled with raw emotions on love, happiness, solitude,  contentment, and the path to spiritual harmony. Becoming whole is a dominant theme in many of her works.

“Don’t wish me happiness
I don’t expect to be happy all the time…
It’s gotten beyond that somehow.
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor.
I will need them all.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

She wrote  five volumes of diaries and letters from the years 1922-1944.  North to the Orient and Listen! the Wind, Anne Lindbergh is the author of 11 published books (including children’s books). They include Earth Shine, in which she wrote of being at Cape Kennedy for the first moon-orbiting flight and how that Apollo 8 flight and the pictures it sent back of Earth gave humankind “a new sense of Earth’s richness and beauty.”

Interview with Anne Lindbergh at NPR:

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5232208

 

Podcast by Reeve Lindbergh, Anne’s Daughter:

 

Fiction:

 

Dearly Beloved (A June wedding sets the scene as the family and guests follow the familiar marriage service. They are stirred to new insights. But for the mothers of the bride and groom, and for friends and relatives, the sight of the young couple and the words of the minister evoke more troubling thoughts and deeper questions.)

 

 

 

 

 

 The Steep Ascent (Etched in the pattern of flight over France, the Alps, Northern Italy is the story of a young couple, an English flier, and his wife, who is pregnant. One shares first the mother’s last-moment doubts and regrets as she faces last things, particularly the last evening with her five-year-old son).

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Lindbergh’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Morrow-Lindbergh/e/B001H6S0UI

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

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Author of the Week, Anthony Horowitz, July 5

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 5

Anthony Horowitz

(Mystery, Suspense, Crime Novelist, Screenwriter, and Television Series Author)

“My writing has always been what you call ‘narrative fiction’ in the sense that it’s got very strong plots and twists at the end.”

“Throughout history, story-telling was at the very beginning of life.”

“I fear dying in the middle of a book. It would be so annoying to write 80,000 words and not get to the end. I’m phobic about it. So when I’m writing a book I leave messages all over the house for people to know how the story ends, and then someone can finish it for me.”

“I had three brilliant English teachers at secondary school. They found the writer in me.”

 

 

Anthony Horowitz (born 1955),  English novelist, screenwriter, and children’s novelist, has written more than 50 books including The Magpie Murders,  The Power of Five series, the Alex Rider series, The Diamond Brothers series, and has adapted many of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels for TV.  He is the creator and writer of  Foyle’s WarMidsomer MurdersCollision, and Injustice.  Also the Hawthorne and Horowitz Mysteries: The Word is Murder; The Sentence is Death; A Line to Kill. In October 2014, the Ian Fleming estate commissioned Horowitz to write a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, and Forever and A Day. A third Bond novel is expected to be released sometime in 2022. An underachiever at school, Horowitz started writing at the age of 8 or 9 and he instantly “knew” he would be a professional writer.

 

Interview with Anthony Horowitz about Magpie Murders, film to be released in 2022:

 

Quickfire interview with Horowitz:

https://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/journalism/article/quickfire-interview-anthony-horowitz

 

 

 

 

View his profile page on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Anthony-Horowitz/e/B000AP7TDG

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at

Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a

FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors.

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The Dreamed Phantom

The Circular Ruins  by Jorge Luis Borges

June’s Tale of the Supernatural   June  28, 2021

What if you had a dream, and during this dreaming you actually created a man?

We are in the world of the sorcerer. He arrives at the ancient circular ruins of a god of Fire.  This sorcerer closes his eyes, sleeps, and dreams a man. He dreams a heart, the organs, and then a full bodied man. And then the sorcerer prays to the Fire god of the temple to bring this man into worldly existence. And now the sorcerer has a dream-son in the  real world.

If you are looking for a story of great artistry, mesmerizing prose, and an ending that will surely hit, this 14-minute short story by Borges is one you will not forget and may even spark you to read it again because it is that—dare I say—circular?

Read the 6-page short story here at JerryWBrown.com

https://jerrywbrown.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/The-Circular-Ruins-Borges-Jorge-Luis.pdf

Listen to the audio at You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpMh1oFKyfw

Jorge Luis Borges (1899—1986) believed that literature is not written by any one person, that it is written by the human spirit, collectively. Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine journalist, author, essayist, poet, and short-story writer whose works became classics of 20th-century world literature. In 1938, the year his father died, Borges suffered a severe head wound and blood poisoning, which left him near death, bereft of speech, and fearing for his sanity. This experience appears to have freed in him the deepest forces of creation. In the next eight years he produced his best fantastic stories, those later collected in Fictions.

 

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, fantasy, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

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Author of the Week, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), June 21

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   June 21

Karen Blixen

(Short Stories, Nonfiction, Memorist)

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.”

“God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.”

“We must leave our mark on life while we have it in our power.”

“I start with a tingle, a kind of feeling of the story I will write. Then come the character, and they take over, they make the story.”

“To be a person is to have a story to tell.”

Karen Blixen,  1885 to 1962, was a Danish author (pen name Isak Dinesen). A baroness, a farmer, a storyteller. Blixen wrote works in Danish, French, and English and is famously known for Out of Africa, her account of living in Kenya, and one of her stories, Babette’s Feast, both of which have been adapted into highly acclaimed, Academy Award-winning motion pictures. She was considered several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Most of her readers have known her to be a woman who fought for women’s rights at a time and in a country that challenged many female liberties.

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills” is the opening lines of  Out of Africa, that romantic adventure that has become a classic in literature and motion pictures.  If you’ve never seen the film, you can stream it easily and it’s a beautiful escape into the mind and imagination of Karen Blixen. If you are a fan of short stories, this is a writer to dive into.

(Karen’s study in Denmark)

In Karen’s home in Copenhagen, garden and bird sanctuary:

Out of Africa, behind the scenes:

 

The Paris Review’s Interview of Karen Blixen, The Art of Fiction:

https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4911/the-art-of-fiction-no-14-isak-dinesen

 

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on

Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story

by contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, George Saunders, June 14

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   June 14

George Saunders

( Novellas, Short Stories, Essays, and Children’s Books)

“Reading is a form of prayer, a guided meditation that briefly makes us believe we’re someone else, disrupting the delusion that we’re permanent and at the centre of the universe. Suddenly (we’re saved!) other people are real again, and we’re fond of them.”

“When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you. What I want is to have the reader come out just 6 percent more awake to the world.”

“By honing the sentences you used to describe the world, you changed the inflection of your mind, which changed your perceptions.”

“Sometimes I think fiction exists to model the way God might think of us, if God had the time and inclination to do so.”

 

George Saunders (Born 1958)  is a New York Times best-selling American writer of short stories and eleven novels. He won the Man Booker prize in 2017 for Lincoln in the Bardo. His stories have appeared regularly in The New Yorker since 1992. The short story collection Tenth of December was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has taught, since 1997, in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.

Interview (Late Night with Seth Myers) with George Saunders, How Stories Enter Our Minds as Memories:

 

 

 

George Saunders is a conjurer, summoning worlds by stacking sentences and paragraphs, using agile and often brutally efficient language.  An interview with Saunders at The Believer Magazine:

An Interview with George Saunders

Reviews on Amazon:

“You want funny? Saunders is your man. You want emotional heft? Saunders again. You want stories that are actually about something—stories that again and again get to the meat of matters of life and death and justice and country? Saunders. There is no one better, no one more essential to our national sense of self and sanity.”—Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King

“The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.”—Mary Karr, Time.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”The Wall Street Journal

Saunder’s Amazon Page:

https://www.amazon.com/George-Saunders/e/B000APEZ74

 

Note: You can read one of Saunder’s short stories Sticks right here at Reading Fiction Blog, featured in November 2018 (flash fiction 4-minute read):

George Saunder’s Flash Fiction “Sticks”

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

 Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary and classic authors. Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

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Author of the Week, Catherine Cavendish, June 7

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK  June 7

Catherine Cavendish

(Fiction: Ghost Stories, Supernatural, Gothic)

“I don’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. I loved reading so much and started at a precociously early age. I kept running out of things to read, so I wrote my own.”

“Ever since I was a child and read The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, I have loved that delicious thrill you can only get from reading scary stories. I do believe there is more to this world than what we can see, hear, touch and feel. Scientists have already proved the existence of many more senses and dimensions than we thought we had a few decades ago.”

[Note: The ghost story has persisted in literature for a long time. Maybe they are reflections of who we really are? Maybe we just love the illusions and the power of the supernatural? Whatever, if you love ghost stories, you must try Catherine Cavendish novels.]

Catherine Cavendish is  author  of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels and novellas.  She was the 2013 joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor, which was featured in the anthology What Waits in the Shadows. When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys rambling around stately homes, circles of standing stones and travelling to favourite haunts such as Vienna and Orkney. She lives with her long-suffering husband and black cat in a 260 year old haunted apartment in North Wales.

 

Interview with Catherine Cavendish with Brian Kirk:

Interview with Catherine Cavendish, Author of Dark Avenging Angel

 

Catherine speaks about Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

 

 

 

Amazon Reviews:

“Catherine Cavendish delivers a clever, accomplished book that entirely normalises the ghost narrative and the timeslip aspects of the story, making it perfectly easy to suspend disbelief and imagine myself on one of Hannah’s tours, seeing and experiencing things that jump straight into the realm of the supernatural.” (Crime Review )

“Superb writing […] Cavendish’s writing is spot on, building wonderful characters and weaving a spell on us unsuspecting readers.” (Final Guys )

“Cavendish sets the scene exceptionally well and the book is atmospheric and spooky throughout.” (The British Fantasy Society )

 

Catherine Cavendish Amazon Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Cavendish/e/B0059GDROQ

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on

Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by

contemporary and classic authors.

 

Leave a comment

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Those Long Blue Days

On the Gulls’ Road   by Willa Cather

May’s Tale of Romance   May 29, 2021

 

 

This blog doesn’t do many love stories, but this one by Willa Cather is a romance that is worthy. The story moves with an evocative sense of place, the suspense of illicit desire, and an ending that will rush your emotions.

Our narrator, an artist, is telling a fellow painter about a portrait that  he painted of a young women named Alexandra Ebbling.

A story within a story, the artist and the woman had met on a ship crossing from Italy to New York. A romantic setting right there! The artist and Alexandra fall in love—“like old friends.”

All those long blue days when I sat beside her talking about Finmark and the sea, she must have known that I loved her.

The artist proposes that they run off together. Alexandra is married and gravely ill. She says “When I leave you day after tomorrow, I shall have given you all my life. I can’t tell you how, but it is true …  It is a wild thing that sings in us once and flies away and never comes back, and mine has flown to you.”

When they dock in New York, she gives him a box to be opened at a later date.

This is beautiful love story full of atmospheric prose, rich images, and a swirling romance.

Read it here at Cather.Unl.edu:

https://cather.unl.edu/writings/shortfiction/ss007

 

Listen to the audio here, a lovely read aloud:

 

 

Willa Cather (1873—1947) is remembered for her depictions of pioneer life in Nebraska. She established a reputation for giving breath to the landscape of her fiction.  Inscribed on her tombstone is a quotation from My Ántonia that reflects her artistic spirit: “That is happiness, to be dissolved into something complete and great.”

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES in above tab for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

Follow or sign up to join me in reading a

short story once a month. 

 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian        

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

 

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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