Chan's debut novel broke my heart into pieces and knit each bit back together again with careful attention. The prose is achingly beautiful, the characters written so true that you will forget you are reading as you ache through their loss and confusion and stumbling attempts at healing right along with each of them. This haunting and magical story of how one family spins out of control before they can slow down long enough to truly see one another again is one I am eager to share with readers, young and old. It's the kind of exquisitely told story that lives on, long after you've lingered over the last sentences, said goodbye to the characters, and closed the book.
The Husband showed up yesterday with this book in his hands, and was repaid by having to watch me jump up and down and squeal in delight when he handed it to me. I knew about The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell, but hadn't seen it on shelves yet, and had no idea that it is such an expansive and complete work of art in it's own right. Not only are there photos from Gaiman's life, but sketches he created as well as other artists works -- but none of this even compares to the outlines and manuscript pages and oodles of notes from his published work. And then of course, there is Campbell's witty and playful narration of the life of Neil. I'm happily gobbling it up, dancing from section to section like a bid being fed breadcrumbs. Hopping, chirping, greedily pecking away until I've devoured every last morsel of information.
My class on crafting the short story begins tomorrow, meeting every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for the next five weeks. The Art of the Short Story by Dana Gioia and R.S. Gwynn is one of three books we will use as we write, rewrite, workshop, and revise together. I've peeked inside the cover already, and am even more excited than I was before to get started with class!