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Showing posts from December, 2020

A Book Needs Space: The Craft of THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE PROFESSOR by Yoko Ogawa

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I took a break from my craft series for a couple months. And then I handed in the first draft of a new book this week! Which means that this weekend I can finally turn my attention to writing about craft in The Housekeeper and the Professor , by Yoko Ogawa. Yoko Ogawa's slender, stunning book, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder, is a challenging one to use as a writing lesson, because while I can describe a hundred smart and wonderful things about it, that doesn’t mean I know how to translate its beauty into advice to other writers. It’s not helpful for me to say, “See how perfect this is? Now go do that."  And it is that kind of book, the kind that pulls you into a narrative dream and holds you there so gently, with such soft hands, that it's hard to figure out how you got where you are. When did it happen, and how? For me, it had already happened by the time I'd gotten to the end of page 3. And I think that the "how" has something to do with a