introducing readers to writers since 1995

December 20, 2004

Nina Schuyler's Holiday Gift Suggestion

by Ron Hogan

schuyler.jpgNina Schuyler teaches writing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, no small feat considering the administration's itchy trigger finger. Her novel, The Painting, set in 19th-century France and Japan, has been callee "lovely and haunting" by Gail Tsukiyama. Maxine Chernoff adds, "It is rare to find such generoisty and vision in a first novel."

They seem antiquated, almost from a different time, these people who despise the ping pong sound of the dumbing down of the English language, who long for a sentence that dips, swaggers and sways, a paragraph that sings the most unexpected notes, a chapter that wakes you up, makes you feel refreshed by a synecdoche, anastrophe, or apposition (they'll know what these mean), who swoon when they read, "…but at that moment her eyes were so clear that they seemed to go round the table unveiling each of the people, and their thoughts and their feelings, without effort like a light stealing under water so that it ripples and the reeds in it and the minnows balancing themselves, and the sudden silent trout are all lit up hanging, trembling" and dream a dream of holding out a hand, putting it in Virginia Woolf's, who beckons to these lost souls and says, here, rest your weary eyes, I'll take you To the Lighthouse.
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