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Clara’s Heart

Real-Life Mysteries Set Stage for “Black Diamond Fall”

in Fiction by

The disappearance of a college student. The vandalism of a famous poet’s residence. Throw in a frightful skiing accident and you’ve got the setup for Black Diamond Fall, a literary mystery by Joseph Olshan (Polis Books), best known for his works Clara’s Heart and Cloudland. The story takes place in wintry Vermont, where the author spends much of his time, and the book’s central themes are drawn from his own real-life experiences. Olshan offered some insight into the book, the plot, the characters and his writing in this BookTrib interview: BookTrib: Black Diamond Fall is based on two real events that happened in Vermont. Tell us about those events and how you tread the line between facts and literary fiction. Joseph…

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20th Anniv. CLARA’S HEART. Grace Paley was delighted to hear I’d sold my book.

in Nonfiction by

by Joseph Olshan When I was in my twenties I lived in Manhattan on a stretch of West 11th Street informally named Writers’ Block. The novelist Donald Barthelme lived there, as did playwright Israel Horovitz, and perhaps most prominently, Grace Paley, who in those years was still commuting back and forth between Thetford and Manhattan. I rarely saw Barthelme, but I often ran into Grace Paley, a neighborhood darling, motherly with her bun of steel-hued hair, dark fiery eyes, direct and forthcoming without a hint of pretense. If you didn’t recognize her as one of the preeminent short story writers of the late 20th century you might have assumed that, in one of her ankle-length paisley dresses, she was one…

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