Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What is Steven Wingate reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Steven Wingate, author of Wifeshopping (Houghton Mifflin, 2008) which won the 2007 Bakeless Prize in fiction from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He spends his analog time in Colorado and his digital time at

Wingate's July 2008 write-up at Writers Read included accounts of Creation Myths by Mathias Svalina, Intercourse by Robert Olen Butler, and Allah Is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma.

In his new contribution he reviews The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction by Robert Boswell. It opens:
The litmus test for books in the writing-about-writing subspecies is usefulness. Can it push writers, whether self-taught or enrolled in organized programs, deeper into their work? Can teachers teach with it? In The Half-Known World, novelist Robert Boswell makes a strong (and useful) first foray into the genre by blending rumination, examples, and quite a bit of personal history. This last element pulls the book together into something much more than a handbook by describing Boswell’s wrestling matches with his chosen craft at various stages of his authorial life. Through these we see the challenges of writing—and the distinct challenges of being a writer—elucidated in their unglamorous, dirty-to-the elbows detail.[read on]
Amy Hempel on Wingate's Wifeshopping:
"What makes these studies in discovery and disillusionment so startling and affecting is the energy of Steven Wingate's language, and the agency of his characters.... The stories in Wifeshopping expand with subsequent readings; they do not end on the page, but continue in a reader's mind."
Read more about Steven Wingate and his work at his website, his blog, his Facebook page, and his MySpace page.

Writers Read: Steven Wingate (July 2008).

Writers Read: Steven Wingate (December 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue