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Alexander Chee's Blog

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If I have a religion, it is probably bibliomancy, the practice of flipping books open at random and reading from the quote I find. Just now: Fear of the world produces crystals in writing. One seeks the faultless, crystallized phrases, perfection, the hard polish of the gems, and then finds that...
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The week of the decision on Proposition 8 was also the week of the decision on "The Bachelorette." Ali Fedotowsky said yes to Roberto Martinez, one out of 25 who competed for the chance. Us Weekly had already reported that Roberto moved his insurance business to California, where the...
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995 miles from Iowa to New York doesn't really describe the distance. This came in via email last night from a reader, and I was actually writing a post to address this. Q: I am debating applying to MFA programs but am not sure how worthwhile they are.  What made you decide to get your MFA?  I've...
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Yesterday, in my Fiction II class, as the students introduced themselves I asked them to speak about what they'd been reading over the summer. One student impressively admitted to reading both Underworld and Infinite Jest. Another, though, shyly said she was reading YA novels. "I suspect...
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Over at Cary Tennis' Salon advice column today, he handles one of the most important questions of our age: What do you say when you don't like a friend's novel? And, I disagree with the answer. Here's the letter: Two days ago, my friend sent me the final draft of a novel she's been working on for...
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When I was 6, we moved to Maine from Guam, in November of that year. It was 1973 and the nation's whitest state was even whiter than it is now. My classmates didn't know what I was---"Are you a chink?"---and I couldn't swim in the ocean for what seemed like forever, to a 6-year-old who...
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I'm obsessed with assassins. Also, from a quick check of my books, comics, dvds, magazine subscriptions and web traffic, I'm obsessed with fake humans/androids, cyborgs, media gossip, political news, gay for pay actors. Food and travel figure in there also, but I think assassins, perhaps, most of...
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