The Bonjour Gene: A Novel (THE AMERICAS)

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Please have the disability coordinator at your school fill out this form. Novel Wander AB66 Dewey Decimal Classification TAR: You spent eight years writing this novel, your first, and you are What does it feel like to have finally finished it after having spent a full quarter of your life working on it? A little bit of sadness? DYB: Mostly relief.

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There are many other things I want to write, and I was happy to let Vandal Love go and move on. Of course, I often think of things I should have done. But this is unavoidable. In many ways the novel took so long because I was trying to pay my bills working manual labor while writing, and this slowed the process. I was also young when I started and I had a lot to learn. TAR: It must have come as none other than pure shock when you received a call from your agent letting you know that Vandal Love had been sold to Doubleday Canada on one chapter. How did you react?

DYB: I really can't recall what I thought. Shock, I suppose. To be honest, I'd been working on the novel so long at that point that I was starting to think that publishing it would be hopeless.

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I was mostly relieved. I realized I would have the time to think the novel through and rewrite the sections that didn't work. In fact, Vandal Love came out a year later than it was supposed to because, finally having money to write it the way I wanted to, I didn't want to rush it. But when my agent had called and told me that Doubleday Canada had made a preemptive offer two hours after having received the first twenty pages by email, I was mostly happy that I wouldn't have to work other jobs anymore.

Making a living as a writer seemed like a possibility for the first time. That in itself was pretty thrilling. TAR: I ask almost everyone I interview this question, not only because it has been a debate for so long, but because so many of The Adirondack Review 's readers are interested in the subject of MFA programs. What are your thoughts on them, as well as writing workshops and conferences in general? That is a tricky subject.

I attended a handful of writing conferences, and from some I learned almost nothing and from others a great deal.

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But I dropped out of an MFA program, feeling that there was too much emphasis on manageability. While MFA programs do provide time and support and sometimes funding to write, I think that it is incredibly valuable for a writer to have to win his audience and make his own mistakes. Of course, during my time away from the university setting, I referred back to what my teachers had said and I think I internalized it and was able to find my own way of understanding all that.

I believe it was Carver who said something about the ease with which people who have had a good education play down its importance. However, more specifically, in workshops, writers have a guaranteed audience, and I found that it was important for me not to.

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Alone, working manual labor, I spent a lot of time thinking about what would engage my readers and make them want to enter my world. TAR: Are you already at work on your next novel? Do you foresee taking eight years to write this one? DYB: I have already started and no, I think it will take much less than eight years. Four maximum. Two if all goes well. TAR: Who are some of your most important literary influences?

DYB: I am often more influenced by one book by a writer than by all of them. The authors who most influenced me most profoundly were of course the ones I read when I was young and hungry to learn. Most of the titles will therefore seem rather obvious, though they were not to me years ago, as a teenager from a poor and relatively uneducated background.

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That said, a tentative list of authors, with titles, would be as follows:. Erratic brushstrokes, fields of color, and unusual materials now fill the final walls of the gallery, expanding our presentation of American art into the midth century. These paintings and prints offer a window into the art world at midcentury, connecting our collections of historic American and contemporary art.

Much of the installation is drawn from the collection of Dr. John and Nancy Poynor, collectors whose passion and vision have shaped our holdings of modern American art for over 25 years. One of the paintings currently in the gallery is an untitled composition created with oil paint on paper by Joan Mitchell. At the BMA, Mitchell is better known for her large oil on canvas triptych, Bonjour Julie , which often hangs in the contemporary galleries.

But the smaller, more intimate painting currently hanging in the American galleries is also worth getting to know.