Writers Who Read
#30

4 April 2021

Agenda



  • Why We're Here

  • Literary Forensics
  •     - What do I bring?
  •     - What do I feel?
  •     - What do I notice?
  •     - What do I want to learn?

  • Next Month's Reading & Study


Why We're Here

We Writers want to improve our craft

by Reading like a Writer

through Literary Forensics training

we learn from each other

Roundtable Rules

Always refer back to the book

We practice active listening & serendipity

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but not every conclusion

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Introductions

What do I bring
to this book?

Today's author: Colum McCann

  • “I’m not interested, and neither are they, in the absoluteness of facts.
    Facts are mercenary things. Facts can be used, they can be soldiers for whatever
    sort of truth that you want them to be. Texture, emotional texture, heart. That’s a completely
    different thing and that’s what I was going for: to try to capture the emotions that they
    have and continue to have . . . “
    - Colum McCann

  • On 1001 sections: A novel for the internet age, the way our minds work right now,
    the weird shotgun leaps that we make from one age to the next . . .

  • McCann intends Apeirogon to mean that we’re all involved or complicit in a way

  • McCann started confused, and he wants the reader to be confused,
    because he believes that its okay to be confused . . .

  • “The purpose of the first 30-40 pages is to confuse the reader,
    and then acknowledge that confusion.”
    - Colum McCann

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I feel?

What in the book elicited that feeling?

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but every conclusion should be questioned

We practice serendipity
- nothing is too crazy

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I notice?


  •    • Language and Grammar

  •    • Context

  •    • Point of view

  •    • Character & character development

  •    • Horizontal structure

  •    • Pacing

  •    • Layering of themes

  •    • Overall effect

"It will not be over until we talk"

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Apeirogon - Stats

  • Marketing: Jewish Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Biographical Historical Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Present-Day Episodic Long-Form
  • Word count: 129,420
  • Print Pages: 480
  • Reading Level: 8th-9th grade


  • Publish date: February 25, 2020
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Sold By: Random House
  • Audio book narration: Colum McCann

  • Prizes: Winner 2020 National Jewish Book Award; 2020 Booker Prize Longlist
  • A Best Book of the Year: The Independent, NY Public Library, Library Journal
  • Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
  • - McCann prefers "storytelling"
  • - 12.9% of first half is Bassam-Rami narrative

  • Fiction using real people
  • - Movies, TV feature the living
  • - Books usually feature the dead

  • Why is that?

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Writers Who Read: Coming Up

May 2: The Lying Life of Adults - Elena Ferrante
(Italy, trans. 2020 by Ann Goldstein)
June 6: The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett (USA, 2020)
- Summer Break -
September 5: Shuggie Bain - Douglas Stuart (USA, 2020)




Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
Literary Forensics Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!