The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and we work every day to connect readers and writers. We also feature workspace, grants, and classes to support emerging writers, reading groups on classic and contemporary authors, and programs to help get kids reading. We recognize the best in the world of fiction through our annual awards, and we operate one of the few independent fiction book shops in the country. We are also an important piece of New York City history, continuing to build our renowned circulating library collection, begun in 1820 by New York City merchants before the advent of the public library system.

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[Photo by Jennifer May Hires]

In retrospect, it was not a big moment, my first reading of Jo Ann Beard. We had been assigned one of the essays from her book The Boys of My Youth to read for a creative writing class at the University of Iowa in my first year as an undergrad. If you are familiar with that collection, perhaps you can guess which one. In that hazy time between the shattering horror of Columbine and the devastating shootings at Virginia Tech, most of the students in the class, myself included, were completely unaware that years before, Iowa had been the site of a similar tragedy, one that would become all too common for my generation. Beard’s essay exploring the event, “The Fourth State of Matter,” is the sort of ruminative, elliptical, webby work that can catch a reader prepared for melodrama unawares.

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Check out this article on reading Jo Ann Beard by our Awards and Programs Manager Sara Batkie! 

The worst thing that being an artist could do to you would be that it would make you slightly unhappy constantly.
J.D. Salinger

What’s the best advice for an aspiring writer? To take a ride in an elevator of course! Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like losing oneself in the abundance of insights from countless renowned writers on their craft. Sometimes when our fellows are hitting a wall in their latest piece up in the writer’s studio, they just take a break for an inspiring ride up and down our adorned lift! Even better, anyone can contribute to this constantly evolving literary collage! If you have a favorite quote by a noted writer send it to us at info@centerforfiction.org.! 

Stephen King is undoubtably one of the prime horror novelists of our time, but who knew that he developed his interest in horror from Dr. Suess?! 

Check out this “What Me a Reader” feature with King, and if you’re a fan of frightening literature pick up a copy of his new novel, Doctor Sleep. 





"She strips off the loneliness that lives in hotel beds, ruffles fantasies resting on the pillows, discards promises left behind: condoms, panties, perhaps a phone number crumpled on the desk." 

"Shuli and I don’t talk about… the way he turns from me, or the way I turn from him… If I sometimes grow silent, lose my place in the conversation, accidentally call him Yoav, he pretends not to notice."

 
Zeeva Bukai, one of this year’s Emerging Writer Fellows writes a tale of an emotionally dissatisfied hotel maid struggling with maintaining a marriage that is lacking in passion while pining for a past lover. 
Read the the full short story in the Spring 2006 issue of the web magazine, The Jewish Quarterly.
"She strips off the loneliness that lives in hotel beds, ruffles fantasies resting on the pillows, discards promises left behind: condoms, panties, perhaps a phone number crumpled on the desk." 
"Shuli and I don’t talk about… the way he turns from me, or the way I turn from him… If I sometimes grow silent, lose my place in the conversation, accidentally call him Yoav, he pretends not to notice."
 
Zeeva Bukai, one of this year’s Emerging Writer Fellows writes a tale of an emotionally dissatisfied hotel maid struggling with maintaining a marriage that is lacking in passion while pining for a past lover. 
Read the the full short story in the Spring 2006 issue of the web magazine, The Jewish Quarterly.

Offill writes a portrait of marriage that is raw, honest, unfiltered and deeply relatable. She writes of a couple who started out writing each other love letters and are now dealing with the many obstacles that confront middle-aged love such as children, stalled ambitions and the balance between self and family. The plight of a once romantic, passionate relationship weathering the storm of a long sustainment is one relevant to many.

“Clever, subtle, and rife with strokes of beauty, this book is both readable in a single sitting and far ranging in the emotions it raises… Offill has equal parts cleverness and erudition, but it’s her language and eye for detail that make this a must-read.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Dept. of Speculation is a deep, funny, and beautifully written novel. It is a moving and intelligent story of a specific marriage, but it is also very much about how it feels to be alive right now. Jenny Offill perfectly captures the absurdities and ironies of our moment.

- Dana Spiota

http://jennyoffill.com/

literaryflack:

Great — now I’m hungry and I want to go home and read.

vintageanchor:

Cupcakes de libros de Victoria’s Kitchen.

(via randomhouse)

harperperennial:

Yo New York! We have some fabulous events lined up for the (re)launch of Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl, and we’d love it if you came out for an evening!

First we’ll be at powerhousearena, where Kate will be in conversation with Elissa Schappell. Swing by DUMBO at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 24th and you can be one of the first to have a signed copy of our new edition! [RSVP here]

Next Kate will hit Midtown with Jenny Offill: both will be reading from their novels, asking the important questions, and enjoying the wine reception. Join them on Thursday, June 26th, at 7 pm at centerforfiction. [RSVP here]

And then Kate will bring it on home to mcnallyjackson on Tuesday, July 1st. Skedaddle on over by 7 pm because you won’t want to miss Kate and Adam Fitzgerald gettin’ literary. [RSVP here]

But, oh, oh, these summer niiiiiii-hiiiiiights

Kate Zambreno and Jenny Offill - June 26th! Be there! 

www.centerforfiction.org/calendar/kate-zambreno-and-jenny-offill

Hank Phillippi Ryan on how being an investigative reporter has influenced her award-winning suspense writing. Hear more about her life and her writing at The Center on Thursday! http://www.centerforfiction.org/calendar/women-in-crime-hank-phillippi-ryan

I grew up in a place where there was plenty of “at risk” behavior and unsavory situations, but you weren’t supposed to talk about these things or be involved in them. In my writing, I wanted to give voice to the people, girls mainly, who were so often sent the message that they should keep their mouths shut about the things that happened to them in their lives.

Alden Jones, interviewed by Michael Carroll at Bookslut

They’ll both be at The Center on Wednesday, June 18th, to discuss their latest short story collections, Little Reef and Other Stories and Unaccompanied MinorsRSVP here!