Art and Craft
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167 pages

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Art and Craft presents the hand-picked fruit of Bill Thompson's three decades covering writers and writing as book review editor of Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier. Beginning with a foreword by Charleston novelist Josephine Humphreys, this collection is a compendium of interviews featuring some of the most distinguished novelists and nonfiction writers in America and abroad, including Tom Wolfe, Pat Conroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Bragg, and Anthony Bourdain, as well as many South Carolinians. With ten thematic chapters ranging from the Southern Renaissance, literature, biography, and travel writing to crime fiction and Civil War history, Art and Craft also includes a sampling of Thompson's reviews.

A foreword is written by South Carolina novelist Josephine Humphreys, who is author of Dreams of Sleep (winner of the 1985 Ernest Hemingway Award for First Fiction), Rich in Love (made into a major motion picture), The Fireman's Fair, and Nowhere Else on Earth.

Featuring: Jack Bass, Rick Bragg, Roy Blount, Jr., Robin Cook, Pat Conroy, Patricia Cornwell, Dorothea Benton Frank, Herb Frazier, Sue Grafton, Carl Hiaasen, Sue Monk Kidd, Brian Lamb, Bret Lott, Jill McCorkle, James McPherson, Mary Alice Monroe, Joyce Carol Oates, Carl Reiner, Dori Sanders, Charles Seabrook, Anne Rivers Siddons, Lee Smith, Mickey Spillane, Paul Theroux, Tom Wolfe



Publié par
Date de parution 12 janvier 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781611174434
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1250€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Art Craft
Art Craft
Thirty Years on the Literary Beat
Bill Thompson

The University of South Carolina Press
2015 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data can be found at
All articles and reviews reprinted with the permission of
The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C.
ISBN 978-1-61117-441-0 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-61117-442-7 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1-61117-443-4 (ebook)
Cover photograph by Keith McGraw
For Rosemary Michaud, muse and foil, and with felicitations to Alan Kovski, Bill Petry, and the gents of the Book Club (who kept me on my toes)
Josephine Humphreys
Leading Lights, or the Test of Renown
Tom Wolfe s A Man in Full
Norman Mailer s Oswald s Tale
Diane Ackerman s An Alchemy of Mind
Edward Albee s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
Michael Cunningham s The Hours
Pat Conroy s Beach Music
Charles Baxter s Shadow Play
Joyce Carol Oates s We Are the Mulvaneys
Thomas Keneally s Schlindler s List
Gary Smith s Beyond the Game
Jill McCorkle s Final Vinyl Days
Tim O Brien s Tomcat in Love
Biography, Real and Imagined
David Quammen s The Reluctant Mr. Darwin
Jack Bass s Ol Strom
Linda Lear s Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
Rick Bragg s The Prince of Frogtown
James I. Robertson s Stonewall Jackson
Lisa Rogak s Haunted Heart
Donald Spoto s High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly
Dick C t s Strength and Honor: The Life of Dolley Madison
The Traveler s Muse
Paul Theroux s The Tao of Travel
Gregory Jaynes s Come Hell on High Water
R. W. Apple s Apple s America
Sue Monk Kidd s Traveling with Pomegranates
Robert Olen Butler s Had a Good Time
Jack Hitt s Off the Road
Roy Blount s Not Exactly What I Had in Mind
The Late Unpleasantness, in Fact and Fiction
Charles Frazier s Cold Mountain
Edward Ball s Slaves in the Family
Tony Horwitz s Confederates in the Attic
Winston Groom s Shrouds of Glory: From Atlanta to Nashville
Shelby Foote s The Civil War: A Narrative
Howard Bahr s The Year of Jubilo
James McPherson s Writing the Civil War
William C. Davis s Look Away! A History of the Confederate States of America
Lee Smith s On Agate Hill
Robert Rosen s Jewish Confederates
Doug Bostick s Charleston Under Siege
The Southern Renaissance
James M. Hutchisson s DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and Bess
Susan Millar Williams s A Devil and a Good Woman, Too
Martha Severens s The Charleston Renaissance
Barbara Bellow s A Talent for Living
Louise Allen s A Bluestocking in Charleston
Crime and Punishment
Carl Hiaasen s Stormy Weather
John Berendt s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Patricia Cornwell s Unnatural Exposure
Sue Grafton s P Is for Peril
Mickey Spillane s The Ship That Never Was
James Ellroy s Destination: Morgue! L.A. Tales
Joe Queenan s Queenan Country
Pressing Issues
Kirkpatrick Sale s The Conquest of Paradise
Robin Cook s Critical
Mary Alice Monroe s Sweetgrass
Anthony Doerr s Memory Wall
Roger Pinckney s Signs and Wonders
David Cox s Dirty Secrets, Dirty War
Fritz Hollings s Making Government Work
Harriett McBryde Johnson s Too Late to Die Young
Will Moredock s Banana Republic: A Year in the Heart of Myrtle Beach
Herb Frazier s Behind God s Back
Watering the Wasteland
Dick Cavett s Talk Show
David Steinberg s The Book of David
Carl Reiner s Just Deserts
Larry Doyle s I Love You Beth Cooper
Bill Geist s Way Off the Road
Brian Lamb s Booknotes
Palmetto s Progress (The Locals)
Bret Lott s How to Get Home
William Baldwin s A Gentleman of Charleston and the Manner of His Death
Josephine Humphreys s Nowhere Else on Earth
Robert Jordan s Crossroads of Twilight
Charles Seabrook s Cumberland Island: Strong Women, Wild Horses
Sidney Rittenberg s The Man Who Stayed Behind
Anne LeClercq s Between North and South: The Letters of Emily Wharton Sinkler
Dori Sanders s Her Own Place
Anne Rivers Siddons s Sweetwater Creek
Padget Powell s Edisto Revisited
Elise Blackwell s Grub
Harlan Greene s The German Officer s Boy
Ben Mo se s Ramblings of a Lowcountry Game Warden
Dorothea Benton Frank s Porch Lights
The Reviews
The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen
Sex and Destiny by Germaine Gree
Orson Welles: A Biography by Barbara Leaming
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
Douglas Fairbanks by Jeffrey Vance
J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey
Less Than Glory by Norman Gelb
American Beat by Bob Greene
Sean Connery by Andrew Yule
An Urchin in the Storm by Stephen Jay Gould
The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson
Adventures in Porkland by Brian Kelly
Fishing in the Tiber by Lance Morrow
A Literary Feast edited by Lilly Golden
Pat Conroy
Jack Bass
Jack Hitt
Edward Ball
James Hutchisson
Mickey Spillane
Herb Frazier
Dick Cavett
Josephine Humphreys
When I first started writing, right around 1978 , I wasn t part of a writer s community. There wasn t one-I didn t know any other novelist working in the lowcountry, or any writers groups or workshops. There were only a couple of book clubs. By the time I finished my first novel and found a publisher for it, there was no bookstore!
Then a new independent bookstore opened in 1983 , just in time for me, and for Harlan Greene and Padgett Powell, whose first novels appeared the same month mine did. Other writers sprang up in succession over the years; today we have maybe 60 people working and publishing, and more on the way. I d say Charleston now qualifies as a hotbed, a place where organic matter ferments and generates heat and nurtures new seedlings. Whether our growth spurt might eventually lead to a second Charleston Renaissance, nobody knows. But it s definitely been a good time for writers.
Do writers really need community? I think so. Not so much for the critiquing and encouragement and advice on how to get an agent (although those things are welcome) but more for the laughs, the commiseration, and the happy but often shocking discovery that someone else thinks the same way you do. Writers are surprisingly similar whether they re writing fiction or poetry or history or magazine articles. We re loners by necessity; there s no job more solitary. At the same time, we need human connection, or we lose the very thing that makes us writers.
A community may well germinate organically wherever there are writers and readers, but in Charleston the process was sped up by a catalyst-Bill Thompson-whose newspaper reviews and interviews sparked our energy and made us aware of each other, generated the warmth we needed. As book review editor at The Post and Courier from 1981 to 2012 , Bill Thompson was the observer who electrified the observed. And because he was a writer himself, and a really good one, he knew what we were about and what we were after.
Interestingly enough, Bill decided he would never actually review the books of local writers in the region. His reasons for this decision boil down to the fact that he was one of us. He could expect to run into us from time to time. So instead of reviewing us, he interviewed. He wrote about our habits, our dreams and fears, and occasionally the secrets we blurted out during the interview. The decision not to review was perhaps a choice he made for his own well-being, but it was also of real benefit to the community of writers. Bill Thompson was the one commentator who did not judge but instead opened a window, introduced us, interpreted us, and by that encouraged us. He was a great listener and elicitor; you ll find in these interviews more than one intimate glimpse into the writer s mind and heart, like Pat Conroy s I ll never have confidence in the writing, Roy Blount s Anyone can be funny. I want to make sense, or Lee Smith s I don t want to prettify.
But Bill did review the works of writers beyond our circle of Southerners, and these were just as valuable as the interviews. The expanded horizon is crucial for writers and readers alike. As Bill says in his section on travel writing (but it clearly applies to all kinds of writers), The vastness of the world and its cultures does not make one feel small and insignificant . . . one feels humbled, yes, yet enlarged, granted passage to a broader and keener perception.
And that s the goal for all of us, writers, readers, travelers and editors alike. A broader and keener perception, yes, plus open minds, serious transformation and whatever revelation might be possible. Bill quotes Bret Lott as saying, My job as a writer is to try and discover, a sentiment echoed again and again by others, even the nonfiction writers. Gary Smith says, You approach a story like a bit of an adventure, and, by giving in to it, you use it as a window to learn about so much more.
Week by week, Bill Thompson gave us that kind of window, and with this collection he opens it again, providing a view from the kind of questing intellect

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