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Robert Earle's Blog

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Feb.18.2014
For three women, a journey to an exotic world will be a mission of mercy. For another the journey is a doorway to her past.  My new novella, In the Land of Zim, can be found at pikerpress.com.  It's set in a place that suggests Zimbabwe during a recent outbreak of cholera.  Three of...
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Feb.13.2014
With The Spectator Bird Wallace Stegner returned to  Joe Allston, whom we first met in All the Live Little Things. He's a retired literary agent, now living with his wife Ruth in California and still depressed about their son's early death in a surfing accident, which Joe thinks might have...
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Feb.09.2014
I picked up The Ocean at the End of the Lane with something in the back of my mind.  Now I've remembered. My sons loved his graphic novel Sandman series in their teens.  I mean really, really loved them.  They said I had to read them, but I didn't.  One reason may be that I had...
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Feb.06.2014
Before I write anything else, I want to emphasize that Alexander Solzhenitsyn's August 1914 is a splendid, ambitious book. It puts on full display all of his talents as a novelist who creates intriguing characters, moves easily through different dimensions of society (rural, urban, upper...
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Jan.26.2014
The Amateur Marriage begins with its terrific title.  With those three words Tyler forces so many questions to the fore: Whose marriage isn't amateur?  What would a professional marriage be like? Is amateurism the element of doom in all marriages, or just this one, the one Tyler describes...
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Jan.24.2014
I just came across an interesting site called Richard Hugo House in which an important point was made--try to submit your stories on a regular basis, at least once a week. I've published more than sixty stories in print and online literary journals, so this set me thinking about what I might add...
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Jan.23.2014
A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov is one of those Russian novels that are central to Russians picking at themselves, full of irony, self-doubt, bravery, passion and uncertainty. Some say this is perhaps the first great novel in a long string of great Russian novels…except that it isn't a...
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Jan.21.2014
Warlords by Kimberly Marten is an academic study of warlordism in Pakistan, Iraq, Chechnya, and Georgia.  Its strength derives from the fact that her approach is inductive, i.e., she offers historically-grounded case studies of the warlordism phenomenon without forcing it within a pre-cooked...
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Jan.21.2014
The Untouchable by John Banville is an exceptionally good book, one of the best I've read in a long time. The story focuses on Victor Maskell, loosely based on the figure of Anthony Blunt, one of the infamous Cambridge Five, or Six…or Seven…, who in the 1930s began spying for the Soviets and...
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Jan.14.2014
As I worked my way into The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford this weekend I was somewhat intentionally paying homage to an examination I had to pass many years ago to earn my bachelor's degree in English. The test lasted nine hours in three three-hour sessions over a two day period and could be...
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Jan.12.2014
The French nobleman Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) was one of the originators of the modern discursive essay, a walk through and around a subject as if it were a garden or an interesting property or house.  He is a hinge figure, in some senses, between the classical era (still a great...
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Jan.10.2014
A Delicate Truth by John le Carré represents his full turn from the Cold War into the War on Terror.  It’s somewhat choppy because its parts are presented out of sequence and he moves from the past to present tense without explanation, but the oddities of this tale hold up. I don’t like to...
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Jan.10.2014
My latest story, "The Frying Pan," has just come out on theNewerYork!.com   Some mistreated women, one in particular, gain the upper hand.  Have a look. It's free.
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Jan.04.2014
    Graham Green has long been one of my favorite writers, and re-reading The End of the Affair enables me to say how long--over forty years.  I first read this novel as a sophomore in college and liked its moody directness, the way it tore into very human problems, and its awkward...
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Dec.31.2013
Let's try to get it right this time.
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