Lauren's Reviews > Await Your Reply

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
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Dec 23, 2009

bookshelves: to-read

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Hey Laurie,

Have you read any of his other books? I just borrowed his collection of short stories, Among the Missing, from the library. We read one of his stories in my fiction workshop last semester and I thought he had a great, haunting style. He seems to write a lot in the present tense, though (at least from what I've read so far), which is interesting. I wonder if there's a specific strategy behind it or it's just become a popular tense to write short stories in. What do you think about tense?

message 2: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren Hey Liz! Nope, I've never read a single thing by Chaon. There was just this one week sometime in November or December when I ran into several awesome reviews of Await Your Reply, and then an interview with him, and a couple of other mentions of his work. I was like, okay, Internet, I guess I'll take the hint and put this on my To-Read list!

Regarding tense, I've gotten so used to reading in present tense that there's always a bit of an acclimation period involved when I start reading a novel that's written in past tense. I read a lot of contemporary YA, where 1st person present tense is practically the norm! Also, I love short stories, and yes, present tense is popular there, too. The (frustrating) novel I'm writing is in present tense -- it wasn't a conscious decision I made when I started the first draft, but it worked for the story. Just before I started the 3rd draft last month, I considered whether I should switch it to past tense, but then I realized there was better reasoning, theme-wise, for the present tense.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit worn out on YA right now (probably because of this novel) and I'm definitely going to pick up the Chaon soon.

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