Each fall, I teach “Madame Bovary” to my graduate writing students at Hunter College, and each fall I read it with them. My course is called Introduction to the Modern: The Role of Compassion. So we look at modernism, and how it disrupts the literary world, and at compassion, and how it expands the soul. I ask my students a fundamental question about intention: Does Flaubert want us to feel contempt or compassion for his characters?
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?
The need for empathy. Empathy enlarges the writer’s understanding, engages the reader, and widens the story…
The Writer’s Hotel is a hybrid writers conference that meets each June at a floating campus between three hotels in Midtown Manhattan. TWH is unique. We work with each writer on their writing, for months before our conference. On site in NYC in June, writers attend large and small workshops, agent pitch meetings, editor lectures and genre labs.
On an episode of The Writer’s Zone with host Genevieve Morgan.
(Whoever She May Be)
Italian writer Elena Ferrante is in the headlines after her true identity was revealed. But we’ll look at the bigger story: How she speaks so powerfully to women’s journeys. Podcast with Elissa Schappell, and Ann Goldstein on WBUR’s “On Point.”
In a quest for thoughtful reflection about the future of our country, Poets & Writers invited a group of writers to share their hopes for the nation with the next president of the United States, whoever that may be.
Elena Ferrante: Frantumaglia
Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has become a worldwide sensation with her Neapolitan novels. Ann Goldstein, Ferrante’s longtime English-language translator, joins authors Roxana Robinson and Judith Thurman to discuss the work of this enigmatic author and her collection of essays and letters, Bits and Pieces of Uncertain Origin, coming out in November.
A piece I published at the Wall Street Journal on the copyright-infringement case against Google: “Last week publishers, copyright experts and other supporters filed amicus briefs petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the copyright-infringement case against Google brought by the Authors Guild. The court’s decision will determine how and whether the rights and livelihood of writers are protected in the future.” You can read it at WSJ.COM, though it requires a subscription