As someone who has written about Gabriel Blackwell’s work before, I feel oddly unqualified to discuss his latest, and perhaps most accomplished, book, Madeleine E. (Outpost 19). Few writers are…
What’s more important: voice or story? I guess that depends but if the writer’s beautiful phrasings don’t stir a reader’s soul or itch a remote corner of his or her skull, then it’s fallen short of its objective and a missed opportunity.
If we’re looking to break new ground, it’s not only the inventive technique of the writing, or even the fine quality of the prose, that distinguishes one writer or press from the next. It’s more likely the ability of the writer to: (1) see past his or her navel (or to at least navigate the navel in an altogether illuminating fashion—e.g., The Shimmering Go-Between); (2) engage the reader; and (3) help the world heal.