Blogging Mary Bowser

October 15, 2014

Can One Page Reveal an Entire Book?

What can one page tell you about an entire novel?

According to Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian cultural theorist, if you are trying to decide whether to read a novel, you should flip it open to page 69 and read that page. If you like it, chances are you'll like the novel. If not, then no.

Does it work? According to the Guardian, you can try it as a reader on everything from Great Canonical Works to Pop Trash, to varying (but maybe equally revealing and useful) effects.

I was recently asked to take the Page 69 Test not as a reader but as an author. Flip to p. 69: what does it tell you about your book.

As it turns out, page 69 may be the shortest page in Juliet's Nurse. So what, if anything, can it tell you about the novel as whole?

A lot. Find out precisely what over at the wonderful blog The Page 69 Test.

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October 10, 2014

William Shakespeare:  Poet, Playwright, Novelist?

I've been feeling beastly about ripping off William Shakespeare. Daily.

Or rather, I've been writing for the Daily Beast about why so many novelists are drawn to riffing on, and ripping off Shakesepare.

Poor Willie, he couldn't write novels himself, as they hadn't yet been invented. So we've been doing it for him.

Check out 5 Novels Shakespeare Sort of Wrote. And if you've already read them all, you are a bona fide Shakespeare nut.


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October 9, 2014

Out of the Closet, onto NPR

So a few weeks back I enjoyed a glamorous NPR taping . . . in my friend Deena's closet. (Don't believe me? Check out the photos here).

We were recording an 80-second reading from my novel. Just so you know, the actual audio book of the novel is 10 hours, 44 minutes, and 53 seconds. So I had to find a nice excerpt that was 1/38,693 of the entire book. Why so short? Because it is part of a two-minute segment called "The Author's Corner" that airs on NPR stations each day.

Here it is, all glorious 80 seconds, of me plus sundry extra bits. Enjoy!

If that's not enough for you, check out this great interview from "State of Wonder," an NPR program airing on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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September 29, 2014

State of Wonder

We are now inundated by more and more media. But, paradoxically, there is less and less in-depth coverage of the arts.

Enter Oregon Public Broadcasting (aka OPB), which has created a wonderful new program, State of Wonder, focusing on the arts in our great state.

I was delighted to be interviewed by the smart and talented April Baer for this week's show. You can listen to it online here.

Thanks, NPR and OPB, for taking the time to do more than tweet about the creative process and its impact on our world.

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September 24, 2014

Whole Lotta Shakespeare Going On

Sarah Johnson is a wonderful librarian and book reviewer (two of my favorite things).

Take a peek at what she just posted on Reading the Past . . .

"Whole Lotta Shakespeare Going On"

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