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the dark age

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Dear Mrs. Gruhn

Recently I received a letter in the mail from my high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Gruhn. We've been in touch here and there the last few years, but it's been a little while since the last time. In the letter, she hoped my writing was going well, and that

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The books on my desk

A couple of years ago, taking a cue from Austin Kleon, I squeezed a second desk into my study. In Steal Like an Artist, Kleon wrote: I have two desks in my office—one is “analog” and one is “digital.” The analog desk has nothing but markers, pens, pencils, paper,

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Quotation marks

There's something wonderful about a story that dispenses with quotation marks. As I mentioned before, I've just finished In the Quick, by Kate Hope Day. Not a quotation mark to be found in Day's novel. Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Kent Haruf's Plainsong. Severance, by Ling Ma; Normal People, by Sally

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Little novels

I've just finished reading In the Quick, by Kate Hope Day. It's a slim novel, with fifty-three chapters, many of them quite short. Some of my favorite novels over the last two years have been "little" books. Jenny Offill's The Dept. of Speculation, or Alexandra Chang's Days of Distraction. West,