A Young Writer’s Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin

Written by Carolina Eleni Theodoropoulos

Ursula K. Le Guin came into my life at the most formative time—not childhood or adolescence, but when I began to take writing seriously: in college. My first creative writing professor urged us to draw maps of our stories; “if you can’t visualize the space your characters inhabit, how will you show the reader?” On the projector, he put up maps from The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and A Wizard of Earthsea. On the back page of my notebook I made a list: “Must Read.” To it, I added: Le Guin, Earthsea. Every workshop, this same professor brought books that reminded him of that day’s story and provided more worlds to inspire us. Earthsea popped up again, so I circled it on my list: it was time to read about Ged.

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The Monster Within: Getting The Grip of It

Written by Carolina Eleni Theodoropoulos

Jac Jemc’s new novel, The Grip of It, is a story of a haunted house and the couple within it. At her reading during the Texas Book Festival, Jemc spoke about using the haunted house trope as a metaphor for the couple’s deeply rooted problems. The more they are disturbed by the unknown of the house and its surrounding area, the more is revealed of the dysfunction of their relationship.

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The Importance of Generating Compassion as a Fiction Writer

Written by Carolina Eleni Theodoropoulos

A couple of weekends ago at the Texas Book Festival, Karen Shepard presented her new collection, Kiss Me Someone, while in conversation with Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! Shepard spoke heavily about the responsibility she feels as a writer to cultivate compassion for characters that sometimes appear monstrous.

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