September 16, 2019

What Makes a Character Human?

By Aatif Rashid

It’s been almost twenty years ago now since James Wood penned (metaphorically speaking, of course, since I’m sure he used a computer) his famous critique of a genre of literary […]

May 14, 2019

On Richard Powers’s The Overstory

By Aatif Rashid

It’s an almost universally accepted notion now that good literature comes down to character. Scholars have long argued that the rise of the novel in Europe coincides with the rise […]

September 7, 2018

Are Characters Real People?

By Aatif Rashid

Last week, in discussing flat characters, I ended with an argument that’s perhaps mildly controversial—that characters are not real people but just words on a page, artificial creations of an […]

August 27, 2018

In Defense of Flat Characters

By Aatif Rashid

Every fiction writer who’s taken even an intro to creative writing class is likely aware of E.M. Forster’s famous distinction between flat and round characters, from his book of lectures […]

June 29, 2018

How Fiction “Works”

By Aatif Rashid

Last week, I was at a reading by Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Sean Greer at Book Soup in West Hollywood, and I had the good fortune to hear him answer […]

May 22, 2012

The Binary-Breaking HHhH

By Weston Cutter

            I guess part of me is mildly surprised that the release of Laurent Binet’s HHhH (translated by Sam Taylor) hasn’t triggered more chatter about it and […]