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  Bergman’s story, “Yesterday’s Whales”, took me through an emotional roller coaster.  The narrator, Lauren, struggles to ‘practice what she preaches’.  Once she discovers she is pregnant, she no longer believes in the end of human existence.  Having a child is something that is natural to women.  It isn’t natural to be miserable and await […]

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Hope

I hated myself then, for letting a stranger into our life, for having to trust this stranger to save my father.  Smith sprinted into the woods.  Betsy hesitated, then followed him.”   In Bergman’s, “Birds of a Lesser Paradise,”  the reader comes to know a young woman who has come to know only a small […]

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The Cow that Milked Herself

This is a great example of how a story can achieve powerful emotional depth with a simple and uncomplicated plotline. The reader wasn’t pulled through any hoops to get to the meaning of this story, we didn’t need to piece together a complicated string of interactions  taking place in a variety of heavily detailed settings […]

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The amazing disappearing family

In class today, I asked about what Robert Olen Butler accomplishes by keeping the narrator’s husband and children in the background in “Mr. Green.” We talked about how you can only consider so much family history when you think about who has influenced you, and that the focus of the story is the narrator’s relationship […]

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In fiction, of course, language is our medium, that’s obvious. More importantly, fiction is about human beings and human emotions. Fiction is not about ideas. Students are writing from their heads, and that’s the problem. Art does not come from the mind; it does not come from ideas. It comes from the place where you […]

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