Author

Jamie Yourdon

Jamie Yourdon has 7 articles published.

Jamie Yourdon received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in 2001. His short fiction has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Underneath the Juniper Tree, and Sceal. He recently completed work on a novel, historical fiction with an undercurrent in magical realism, for which he is seeking representation

Long time, no publish? Authors who are worth the wait

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When Lorrie Moore released Bark: Stories (Knopf) in February of this year, it was with much ballyhoo. After all, 15 years had passed since her last collection of short stories—Birds of America, which garnered wide praise for its insight and humor, and was named a New York Times bestseller. If anyone expected Moore to miss a step after a long hiatus, that misguided reader was surely disappointed. It’s not uncommon for authors to go years between book releases. The creative process may account for some delay, and then there’s the business of selling a book: copyediting, jacket design, the sale of foreign rights, and the slow drumbeat of social media. That said, certain writers take more time than others. Here’s…

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Overcoming the handicaps that define us: Out With It by Katherine Preston

in Non-Fiction by

At some point in everyone’s life, he or she will experience a handicap. This handicap may be physical or psychological; it can be temporary or chronic. But how an individual adapts to his or her handicap will have ramifications beyond tying one’s shoes or expressing oneself. How we overcome our handicaps will ultimately define us. The first time I threw out my back was the summer of 2001. I’d just moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I was enrolled in a graduate program. I didn’t know a soul―not a neighbor or a fellow student―when I contorted in such a way that caused my abdomen to seize, my spine to lilt, and my hands and feet to go numb. I can remember…

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In the Course of Human Events beats Fight Club in a knockout

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Much has changed in the eighteen years since Fight Club was published. In 1996, the flourishing economy awarded President Clinton a second term; today, the unemployment rate is stagnant. Someone who bought a hardcopy edition of Fight Club may have wanted to explore the moral trappings of consumer culture, but today’s reader is considerably less curious and considerably poorer. Enter Clyde Twitty. On its surface, In the Course of Human Events (Soft Skull Press, April) bears more than a passing resemblance to Fight Club. Both were written by first-time authors – Mike Harvkey and Chuck Palahniuk, respectively. Both address male alienation in modern times and the fellowship to be gained from bare-knuckle fighting. As such, the comparison behooves Human Events;…

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How to write your life in 30 days

in Non-Fiction by

As human beings, we’re predisposed to think of ourselves as worthy of an audience. After all, we’re each the protagonist of our own story, if not its hero. But in the age of reality television, we can’t all be stage moms and backwater tycoons. For the rest of us, self-aggrandizement is better suited for the page. Roberta Temes, PhD, has penned How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story (Readers Digest, March)—though it should be called How to Write a Memoir in 30 Installments, since Temes herself concedes that thirty continuous days is ambitious. Instead, she offers thirty chapters, organized around thirty writing exercises, that will help you to craft a…

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Lost love: the universal currency

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Your heart’s been broken before. Perhaps it happened many years ago, or perhaps it occurred more recently. Whenever the wound was inflicted, whoever was to blame, the experience was formative—like puberty, with which heartache often corresponds. Obviously, your ordeal was intensely personal; at the same time, you felt connected to a larger community. All those songs that suddenly gained a deeper significance; all that poetry that became (briefly) tolerable. Love lost is a universal currency: honored everywhere, despite your inclination to hoard it. Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler (art by Maira Kalman), is a fictional account of one such love lost. Specifically, Min (high school student, “interesting” girl) has dumped Ed (high school student, athlete and offhand homophobe),…

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A book of histories found within objects: BookTrib talks to Aurelie Sheehan

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Aurelie Sheehan is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories—most recently, Jewelry Box: A Collection of Histories (BOA Editions, 2013). Her writing is funny, intimate, and occasionally mordant—like a conversation you wish to be included in. Sheehan has received a Pushcart Prize, a Camargo Fellowship, and the Jack Kerouac Literary Award. She teaches fiction at the University of Arizona in Tucson. You can learn more about her at www.aureliesheehan.com.   Can you explain the origin of Jewelry Box? I wrote Jewelry Box over many years, in rushes of inspiration, in between drafts of two or three novels and longer stories. It began like this: I had just finished a draft of The Anxiety of Everyday Objects [Penguin…

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A man walks into a bar but the Girl is Gone

in Potpourri by

It’s no surprise that Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel Gone Girl will be reborn as a movie, due out in October of 2014. The source material is so morbidly cinematic, director David Fincher (who recently adapted Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) could hardly decline. However, readers are now learning of an alternate ending, conceived of and written by Flynn herself. Should it come as any surprise, given the disparity between literature and film? All stories follow the same dramatic arc, whether the narrative takes the form of a book, a movie, or even a joke. For example: a man walks into a restaurant (Situation) with a duck on his head (Conflict). The waiter brings him a menu and…

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