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The Novelist: a novella Paperback – August 24, 2012


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The Novelist: a novella + The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: T.S. Poetry Press (August 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984553193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984553198
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,109,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If you are a writer struggling to find your place in the literary world, this book may be just what you are looking for. It will teach you about writing, not the way a textbook does, but while telling you a story.

--Lisa Binion, Fiction Editor, BellaOnline

The Novelist is a pleasurable escape into the known and unknown world of Laura's inner journey. Barkat's ability to weave poetry into prose makes it impossible not to sink into her beautiful writing. It's one of those rare books you'll finish but leave on the nightstand.

--Darrelyn Saloom, co-author of My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of A Girl Who Yearns to Box

To state the pleasurable, Barkat is a damn fine writer. Her prose is elegant without becoming stuffy, plus the poetry included within the text is astonishing in its range and individuality of styles. Truly, this is the kind of tour from which springs de force.

—Hubert O’Hearn, former editor Herald de Paris, Contributing Editor San Francisco Book Review

Every letter, every construction, every pause tells of genius. This is a masterpiece. —Claire Burge, author of Spin: Taking Your Creativity to the Nth Degree

About the Author

L.L. Barkat is the author of six books, including Love Etc, and Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing (twice named a Best Book of 2011). Her poems have appeared at Best American Poetry, VQR, NPR, and Every Day Poems. Staff Writer for The Curator and Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry Barkat can be found at llbarkat.com.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book from start to finish and highly recommend it.
G. M. Brodhurst-Davis
In an intriguing sense fitting for the story itself, the transition feels subtle, as though the unexpected comes to be in a very expected sort of way.
Amazon Customer
The novella is also sprinkled with lots of poetry, giving readers a glimpse into Barkat's writings as a poet.
Debra Lobel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Novelist's main character describes her relationship with a poet friend as "more of a thing and less of a thing," saying that "to express it this way made no sense, yet it made perfect sense to Laura." This powerful intertwining of seeming dichotomies characterizes the narrative of L.L. Barkat's debut fiction release.

Laura, an ad copy writer who's never finished even a short story, is challenged by an acquaintance on Twitter to write a novel in an impossibly short time. Along the way, she embarks on a process of discovering herself, the strength of her own center, and the power of both yes and no.

Barkat seamlessly weaves a compelling plot with alluring poetry, truth with fiction, and even profound micro-studies in relationships and the writing craft. Readers of Barkat's previous books will find The Novelist a departure from her earlier work, not simply in genre, but also in what they think they know of the author. In an intriguing sense fitting for the story itself, the transition feels subtle, as though the unexpected comes to be in a very expected sort of way.

The Novelist is the sort of book that leaves you tempted to let the water boil away on the stove while you read just one more page, until you find yourself unexpectedly at THE END. Which, of course, is where the book began. I highly recommend starting there, and reading it again, and again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. M. Brodhurst-Davis on September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Novelist is quite an engaging, insightful, and illuminating read. Once again, the author, L. L. Barkat, delivers and in this novella, has managed to incorporate storytelling in the most gentle and comprehensive manner with some of her most breathtaking and moving poetry. We follow Laura, a copywriter and poet, who is challenged by her friend, Megan, to write a novel by September. We are treated to delicious tea infusions as Laura ponders in-depth to make some sense of her relationship with her seemingly non-committal lover, Geoffrey, and in reconciling with her unpleasant past in her endeavor to write her novel. I took away many good moments from this book and am especially impressed by the way L.L. Barkat effortlessly weaves references to other authors' literary works into the storyline as part of Laura's musings on the writing process in deciding a topic. I enjoyed this book from start to finish and highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Silvera on August 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Novelist explores the process of writing through the mind and stories of a character who "has nothing to write about" and yet has been challenged to write a book. As Laura ruminates on the writing process, the author playfully jabs at the literary world. As Laura procrastinates and avoids writing her story, the author crafts a simple yet complex story of a woman whose tragic and endearing past becomes the novel she has not yet figured out how to write. The Novelist is layered in ideas about the writing process, the importance of one's experiences in the creation of fiction, and the evolution of a story ready to be born.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Holly Grantham on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
As someone who longs to write something of meaning but fears that she actually has nothing to say The Novelist fell into my lap as pure gift. It is true--there are "stories everywhere" and L.L. Barkat beautifully reveals that truth through her fallible but lovable character, Laura. The idea to write a novel by September seems crazy and ridiculous and perhaps, even, foolish but Laura faces the challenge with honesty and humility. She explores her misgivings with grace and grit and she inspires, despite her seeming lack of ability.

But it was this passage that connected with my coming-of-age-writer heart:

"Maybe the real problem wasn't that she had nothing to write about, but that she had too much. Maybe she wasn't afraid of her finiteness after all, but rather Infinity and how it called her to begin somewhere, anywhere. To begin might be an acceptance that indeed she was some kind of creator, with tremendous powers. It might mean taking people's lives into her hands--her own life, her friends', even her father's or mother's. And maybe she was afraid they would think she had animated a wandering Frankenstein no one wanted to hold."

I am now more willing to look beyond the "problem" and simply write.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D.M. Turner on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Copywriter/poetess Laura is challenged by a friend to write a novel in a short time - the challenge sends her in search of her muse. Barkat's interweaving of present and past, fact and fancy, is interesting and artfully done. While I loved the excellent writing, I found the story a little slow, but L.L. Barkat's lyrical and visual poetry liberally scattered throughout the novella kept me reading. My mind wandered as I read Laura's ruminations, however, by the novella's end I wished I'd slowed down earlier to catch the elegant nuances woven throughout. It's a study in subtlety, especially the ending. Read the book. It's worth your time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Harms on December 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm sure I should have read Rumors of Water already, but I haven't. I met LL Barkat by reading The Novelist. Now I know that I must next read Rumors of Water.
The Novelist sent my mind on a trip through memories of the various self-portraits I have seen. Whether in oils or photographs the self-portraits created by artists always manage to hide as much as they display and leave the viewer with questions to mull. Barkat accomplishes the same thing in The Novelist. Ostensibly, the story is about a woman challenged to write her first novel and do it quickly. I dare you just to try to guess how it all turns out.
Barkat is many things, and in this book she is a novelist -- maybe. Her blend of poetry, tea and china leads the reader on a sometimes not so merry chase through life and literature. Almost everyone who ever thought of being a writer thought first of writing novels, and most first novels simply amount to the trash that must be dumped before the writer discovers what she will actually write. The Novelist is not headed for anybody's trash dump.
I won't try to tell you what the book is about. Every reader must figure out that puzzle for himself. I will tell you that you won't find a list of the "Five Books Every New Writer Needs," although you may find yourself chasing down a number of books on writing after you read this book. Don't expect me to classify this book, either. I welcome anyone's comments on that matter after reading the book.
I will tell you that The Novelist is not to be missed. Pure art. Unique poetry. Bleeding edge self-examination. Memories bitter and sweet brushed on with a gentle touch and sensitive imagination. All stirred together with vignettes and snippets of Tale of Genji. I could not put it down. Yet I kept putting it down in order to absorb and savor the writing. The Novelist belongs at the top of your "to read" list.
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More About the Author

L.L. Barkat is the author of six books, including an experimental fiction and poetry title, 'The Novelist: A Novella,' and 'Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing'(twice named a Best Book of 2011). Her poems have appeared at Best American Poetry, VQR, NPR, and Every Day Poems. Staff Writer for The Curator and Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry, Barkat can be found at llbarkat.com.