So glad this showed up in my feed this morning! Chris Bohjalian is one of Vermont’s own and a grand writer. Do check out his other writing and his books. I’m glad, too, he didn’t follow up on the stock market thing.
John Gardner was thrown from his motorcycle and died the year before his book, The Art of Fiction, was published in 1983. Consequently, he never saw the influence that his short, smart guide to good writing would have on so many aspiring writers – including me.
In the last thirty years, I’ve thought often of a point he makes in the preface: “Though the ability to write well is partly a gift – like the ability to play basketball well, or to outguess the stock market – writing ability is mainly a product of good teaching supported by a deep-down love of writing.” I never took a creative writing class, so his book was my Bread Loaf, that almost mythic writing conference in Vermont’s Green Mountains where (among other places) Gardner taught.
Just for the record, I did try once to take a creative writing course. I was a sophomore…
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