Christopher Barzak
Meditations in an Emergency

Renewed Faith
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Still contemplative

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A great year for Nebulas, in general. Jeffrey Ford won the novelette category for "The Empire of Ice Cream", and Karen Joy Fowler won the short story category for "What I Didn't See". I haven't read "The Speed of the Dark", by Elizabeth Moon, though I hear good things about it.

I am reading a novel called "Summer Rain" by Marguerite Duras. It's incredible, a mix of prose narrative and film script direction and dialogue. Duras was an incredible novelist, playwright, memoirist, and film script writer, so it doesn't surprise me to see her mixing the forms. And what amazing understanding of an poverty stricken immigrant family in France. If you've never read Duras, and think you might try her, start with "The Lover", or "The North China Lover" (which also mixes prose memoir with film script techniques). Normally I'd find this sort of mixing unpleasant, but Duras is always poetic, even in her film scripts, rather than mechanical. And while she elucidates her characters, she's somehow able to delineate their motives yet keep them deeply mysterious. I don't think it's anything a writer can learn to do. I think it has something more to do with if you're that sort of writer, if it's in your view of people, if you are the kind of person who understands people keenly, yet acknowledges that, even with your insight, you know very little about people at all.

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