Welcome to my blog, Writers of the Lost Arc. Here you'll find writing exercises and tips, Jewish stuff, and, well, we'll see.

Tags

Selected Works

Fiction
"...an action-filled novel...a story of love transcending deformity, both inner and outer…extraordinary, delicate and memorable.” -- Ha'aretz
"… a captivating tale about modern day matchmaking…spellbinding..."
–Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

BLOG: Writers of the Lost Arc

"Saving Mr. Banks," and the psychic burdens children carry

January 17, 2014

Tags: "Saving Mr. Banks", In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, P. Travers, children who pity their parents, psychic burdens children carry

Oh, the things you'll tell a blogger you've never met that you wouldn't tell your mother or friend.

Deborah Kalb asked how I came to write about a certain character in my novel. Here's what I answered. " Then there’s Mustafa, an Arab janitor on the Temple Mount with a horrible case of torticollis – his neck twists permanently over one shoulder. Somehow this man so different from myself wandered into my creative unconscious and I had no idea why.

But then I recently saw the wonderful movie, "Saving Mr. Banks," and it touched so many chords in me. It becomes clear that Travers wrote Mary Poppins to save her talented drunk of a father. She carries the psychic burden of her father’s failures and it weighs heavily on her. My father’s life, his struggles, also weighed heavily on me. Like Mustafa, he suffered from a strange physical deformity – he was missing an ear from a car accident as a child. (more…)

"A crop of superb novels by younger writers keen to edge their fading elders from the spotlight"

January 5, 2014

Tags: Wall Street Journal fiction overview, Sam Sacks, is the novel dying, golden age for fiction, best novels 2013, celebrity dud novels, new novelists, Jhumpa Lahiri, "In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, " Claire Messud, Donna Tartt

I'm happy my novel was included in the Wall Street Journal's overview of the best novels of the year. It's a provocative article. Here's the link, but if you're not a WSJ subscriber, I cut and pasted it below.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304367204579268303742637632

The Year in Fiction 2013
A crop of superb novels by younger writers keen to edge their fading elders from the spotlight.
by Sam Sacks

Nothing better encapsulates the state of fiction at the end of 2013 than the hoary motif of Father Time and Baby New Year. On one side are the old, the established, the reverenced; on the other, the young and fresh-faced, squalling for recognition and eager to nudge their elders from the spotlight. They will do it soon if the past 12 months were any indication.

No reading year is without disappointments, but it's noteworthy that in 2013 almost all of them came from A-list novelists whose books failed to warrant the attention they attracted. (more…)