Sophie Powell's Blog

May 13, 2010

Long time, no blog – it's been a frenetic semester, though my classes at Boston College were exceptionally rewarding – I had two super-talented sets of students. So super-talented, in fact, that I went and got an anthology of their work published through the Espresso Book Machine in the Harvard Bookstore. I asked each student to select 5 pages of their best work from the semester and compiled each class' work into a PDF file, which I emailed to the Harvard Book Store. Poof! Like magic, the...

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Published on May 13, 2010 19:12 • 98 views

September 5, 2009

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms by Ethan GilsdorfBY SOPHIE POWELL

fantasyfreaksEthan Gilsdorf, a former Dungeons and Dragons addict and seasoned pop-culture and travel journalist, chronicles his international odyssey through the worlds ofHarry Potter bands, medieval reenactment societies, World of Warcraft guilds and massive fantasy conventions, to name only a few. In the process he learns to come to terms...

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Published on September 05, 2009 12:18 • 40 views

June 23, 2009

My review of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide To Flash Fiction, as published in The Fiction Writers Review:

"Alice Munro is mostly known as a short story writer and yet she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every short story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels." So Jane Smiley, a judge on the2009 Man Booker International Prize, told of its beloved Canadian winner last month. It was the first time a writer who exclusively produces short stories was awarded this...

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Published on June 23, 2009 13:16 • 30 views

April 24, 2009

My review of A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff, as published on The Rumpus.net: 

"With their shining hair and bright, clear eyes, they, all of them, were the dewy flowers of the upper middle class…" writes Joanna Smith Rakoff in the first chapter of her superb, acutely insightful first novel, A Fortunate Age. "But this group, our group, wanted nothing to do with money, the whiff of which had, they thought, spoiled their brash bourgeois parents… [they:] were interested in art, though...

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Published on April 24, 2009 13:14 • 32 views

April 1, 2009


My review of Anne LeClaire's magical new book "Listening Below The Noise: A Meditation On The Practice Of Silence", as  published on http://www.therumpus.net, the new Harper's: 

Anne LeClaire's new book explores the many faces of silence

I have never felt comfortable with silence. Alone in the house, I insist on having the radio or television playing in the background. I write in cafés, not in libraries or log cabins in the middle of nowhere. If there is a gap in a conversation, I feel the...

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Published on April 01, 2009 14:16 • 35 views

January 17, 2009

Happy New Year! Economy aside, there are so many wonderful things happening this year, and with Obama in charge things can only get better.
As for me, I'm particularly excited about my role as Assistant Director of Abroad Writers Conferences (http://www.abroad-crwf.com). We have an incredible conference in Calcutta planned for September, with an outstanding array of Pulitzer/Booker/National Book Award winners. Currently on board are: Junot Diaz, Chris Abani, Amy Bloom, Robert Olen Butler...
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Published on January 17, 2009 12:04 • 35 views

July 24, 2008


The past few weeks I have been in a fascinating email dialogue with Hernan Torres, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the Universidad del Cauca in Popayán, Colombia. Previously a Fulbright Scholar and Research Fellow at Washington University in St Louis, he is now in charge of editing Cuadernos de Antropologia y Poética, an interdisciplinary publication on poetics and interpretive anthropology. He also translates English, French and German poets into Spanish. He explained that his reasons...

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Published on July 24, 2008 11:33 • 40 views

June 24, 2008


And here I am, behind my cloak
An ardent hope and a burning fever
I thirst for meeting with you,
My beloved
But there is my veil, my curse,
O my beloved.
—(M. al Sharafi, 1970, translation Carla Makhlouf)

A week ago, I came across the book "Changing Veils" (1979), an absorbing study of women and modernization in North Yemen (the former, pre-unification Republic Of Yemen). The author, Carla Makhlouf, is an anthropologist by...

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Published on June 24, 2008 14:39 • 44 views

May 6, 2008


I've just returned from New York where I attended the panel discussion 'Writing Sex and Sexuality', one of the many and varied events hosted by PEN as part of their festival of international literature. I was particularly interested in this event since my novel The Mushroom Man included some sexually explicit scenes which provoked quite a few comments from readers, and recently I had an essay on sex forthcoming in the upcoming anthology Behind The Bedroom Door until I chickened out and...

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Published on May 06, 2008 16:42 • 37 views

April 28, 2008

Finally, I've tumbled down the rabbit hole again. It's been a bit of a grim past three months as I was sick, but I'm very much on the mend and I had many magical experiences on the way which makes me wonder whether this wasn't such a horrid experience after all. My family have been a host of angels, and it confirmed that I do indeed have the most incredible, loving and wise mother in the world (not that I needed it confirming but…). Last week, my father was working in the British Virgin Islan...
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Published on April 28, 2008 15:36 • 34 views

Sophie Powell's Blog

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