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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Diviner's Tale; War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning; Unlived Professions

I just finished Brad Morrow's THE DIVINER'S TALE and was truly impressed; it is rare to find a male writer who can convincingly channel whatever we want to believe might be a female consciousness, and in Morrow's original story, which begins as a sort of Self vs. Self plot, inasmuch as its narrator is cursed/blessed with a power of divination which she doesn't wholly embrace, the consciousness radiates outward to make the ending truly a page-turner. You finish the book and then want to start it again to pick up all the clues, and this recursive urge seems to me to be a strong hallmark of success.

One other aspect of Morrow's book that proves his strength as a writer: he is able to toy with fabulism and magical realism, i.e., what we used to call aspects of the traditional ghost story, and yet does so without sacrificing narrative tension. In other words, ghost stories often fall flat since, in a universe in which anything can happen, an author immediately plays his or her full narrative hand of tension. Yet Morrow's world is spun tightly around these closed, hungry psyches that populate his novel, and so the paranormal becomes congruent with psychology.

I just started this book: the former war correspondent who rejects the mythos of war. So far, so good.

When I wrote CRAWL SPACE, part of my urge was to exercise/exorcise my great admiration of war correspondents, one of many unlived professions I seem to have collected. When I wrote LOLA, CALIFORNIA, I wanted to do the same with any of the hundred and one professions that had seemed possible to me as a child growing up in the incense-laden fumes of Berkeley.

Please find space below to write any of your unlived professions:

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