Petered out by Paul and Mary

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An incredible week at CCA!

Last Friday we were treated to a stellar discussion with Pulitzer-Prize winner and casual genius Paul Harding who read from his new book Enon. Fave quotes: “Writing’s like receiving radio waves from the universe. I just basically take dictation. My job is to listen to [the character] sentence by sentence by sentence.” We could listen to you, Paul, all day.

This week we’re enjoying several workshops with the incomparable Mary Gaitskill, whose erotically-charged story Secretary became an excellent movie by Steven Shainberg. Having read more of Mary’s work, I’m really looking forward to hearing her read on Friday night to kick off Litquake. One highlight of ‘Mary week’ so far: her keen dissection of Vandals, a story by Alice Munro (a Nobel Prize winner now! Go Canada!)

We’re all pretty exhausted from the ton of extra reading these two special guests required — Tinkers, Because They Wanted To, Bad Behavior, Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, plus other great works — but my favorite moment of the week happened yesterday, when I was lucky enough to have her workshop one of my newer stories and like it, saying: “It’s remarkably clever, and I mean that in a good way.” ❤

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