THE REALITIES OF FICTION by Nancy Hale

THE REALITIES OF FICTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Out of five years of lecturing, much of it at Middlebury's Bread Loaf Workshop, Nancy Hale the popular novelist and New Yorker regular, now collects her best how-to-write recipes and pastes them up in a thoughtful and temperate collection. Though the real red meal of art is not here (the essay on the manly Hemingway is too long, too languid) and gourmet exoties like Cocteau and Capote, Robb-Grillct and Sarraute get bypassed, still Miss Hale's Realities of Fiction, when covering aspects of Wolfe, Faulkner, Forster, Nabakov et al., sets off sparks of good advice: the two-way imagination leads from dreams to fact and if at times it takes one from reality it also prefigures the way back; listen for ideas but follow the feeling; make the form flow yet know what you mean; the novel mirrors the interracting relationships of the many while the short story, like the poem, is an accurrence in itself. Regrettably Miss Hale omits those younger writers she has most sympathetically and successfully discussed elsewhere, people like John Updike and Harold Brodkey. Nevertheless, a substantial, satisfying work.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1962
Publisher: Little, Brown