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Thursday, July 7, 2022

'Just Writing Bits and Pieces'

 “I always tell my students, 'If you walk around with your eyes and ears open, you can't possibly live long enough to write all the novels you'll encounter.'” – Jill McCorkle

Born on this day in 1958 in Lumberton, NC, McCorkle is one of America’s preeminent short story writers – and that coming despite the fact that she really wanted to be a teacher “and maybe a novelist.” 
Now a professor, she studied with a group of writers who have all had great successes and who have “rubbed off on one another” in their careers.  She’s amassed an amazing body of work and won numerous awards, including the prestigious "Dos Passos Prize."

And while her short stories continue to shine – particularly stories like Going Away Shoes – she wrote a wonderful novel, Life After Life, about the residents of a retirement center.  I can guarantee you all the emotions when reading this wonderful book.

“For years, I felt I was a novelist, but now I know I can write short fiction,” she said.  “I work in a way that is not linear or chronological at all, even with the short story.  I will just be writing bits and pieces, and then when I have all the pieces on the table, that for me is when it feels like the real work begins.”


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