Laura McNeal

Goodreads Author


Born
The United States
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences

Member Since
October 2010


Writer of things for and about the naively hopeful

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Laura McNeal Everything inspires me to write. It's a pre-existing condition. The most crippling and yet most motivating activity is, of course, to read a great nov…moreEverything inspires me to write. It's a pre-existing condition. The most crippling and yet most motivating activity is, of course, to read a great novel by someone else, one that makes writing a great novel seem both an impossible thing to do and the only thing I ever want to do.(less)
Laura McNeal One ticket to I Capture the Castle, please. Ticket should include being locked in the keep by my children, who send food to me in a basket, the way th…moreOne ticket to I Capture the Castle, please. Ticket should include being locked in the keep by my children, who send food to me in a basket, the way they did with their father in the book. I have to stay there until I finish my novel.(less)
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More books by Laura McNeal…

Ambassadors

A long time ago, when I was 21, Tobias Wolff asked me a question. "Do you feel like you have to be an ambassador for your faith in your writing?"

This was at Syracuse University, and we were in his office in the Hall of Languages, an ornate stone castle of a building that stood at the top of a hill I climbed every day like a pilgrim.  Toby's office, on the fifth floor, was fittingly grand, full of Read more of this blog post »
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Published on July 14, 2018 00:00

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Hamnet
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by Maggie O'Farrell (Goodreads Author)
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The Searchers
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Laura’s Recent Updates

Laura McNeal finished reading
The Strange Birds of Flannery O'Connor by Amy Alznauer
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Laura McNeal wants to read
Walking with Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne
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Laura McNeal and 96 other people liked El's review of The Salt Path:
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
"I really wanted to like this book. The story has the potential to be a life-affirming, heart-warming work and I love walking but I just couldn't get on with the style which, for me, was flat and monotonous and the tale itself was repetitive and overl" Read more of this review »
Laura McNeal wants to read
Sybille Bedford by Selina Hastings
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Laura McNeal wants to read
Jigsaw by Sybille Bedford
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Laura McNeal wants to read
A Legacy by Sybille Bedford
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Laura McNeal is now following
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Laura McNeal commented on Jenny’s update
" I, too, first encountered Buddhism in a college class. At BYU, of all places. So the religion that taught me "Man is that he might have joy" also taug ...more "
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Jenny Offill shared a note and highlight from
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three.
When I was in college, I took an introductory Buddhism class and I heard this idea. I never forgot it because it suggested that there were so many possibilities of how to think and feel, and I glimpsed that I was one of those people that always lingered in the miserable three.
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Jenny Offill shared a note and highlight from
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three.
When I was in college, I took an introductory Buddhism class and I heard this idea. I never forgot it because it suggested that there were so many possibilities of how to think and feel, and I glimpsed that I was one of those people that always lingered in the miserable three.
Rate this book
Clear rating
Jenny Offill shared a note and highlight from
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
What Rilke said: Surely all art is the result of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further.
Rilke is one of my favorite writers and this passage highlights what I love about his work. He writes so clearly about the emotionally devastating moments in life like having your heart broken or losing a loved one. What I like is that he presents a way forward that is not about easy reassurances or platitudes. To me, it means this: If your house goes up in flames, make something beautiful out of the ashes. My new book, WEATHER, is out 1/19. Make sure to check it out! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37506228-weather
More of Laura's books…
“Amiel was looking at me with the kind of interest that made my mouth dry up. I was Braille and his eyes were fingers.”
Laura McNeal, Dark Water

“Tu' eres de dos mundos."
He was wrong, of course. You can only belong to one world at a time.”
Laura McNeal, Dark Water

“Inside the house, near the hearth, Amiel had built a sort of fire pit with rocks. It was a safer place to cook than most campsites, really, because there was concrete all around, and I longed to be there when he had the fire going, when we could be cowgirl and cowboy and pretend we weren't a few miles from two million people.”
Laura McNeal, Dark Water

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More...
“A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.”
G.K. Chesterton, Robert Browning

“The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.”
Anton Chekhov, Gooseberries and Other Stories

“It is a curious thing, do you know, Cranly said dispassionately, how your mind is supersaturated with the religion in which you say you disbelieve.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Text of bliss: the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts (perhaps to the point of a certain boredom), unsettles the reader's historical, cultural, psychological assumptions, the consistency of his tastes, values, memories, brings to a crisis his relation with language.”
Roland Barthes

“I probably reread novels more often than I read new ones. The novel form is made for rereading. Novels are by their nature too long, too baggy, too full of things – you can't hold them completely in your mind. This isn't a flaw – it's part of the novel's richness: its length, multiplicity of aspects, and shapelessness resemble the length and shapelessness of life itself. By the time you reach the end of the novel you will have forgotten the beginning and much of what happens in between: not the main outlines but the fine work, the detail and the music of the sentences – the particular words, through which the novel has its life. You think you know a novel so well that there must be nothing left in it to discover but the last time I reread Emma I found a little shepherd boy, brought into the parlour to sing for Harriet when she's staying with the Martin family. I'm sure he was never in the book before.”
Tessa Hadley

233 ¡ POETRY ! — 21992 members — last activity 1 hour, 56 min ago
No pretensions: just poetry. Stop by, recommend books, offer up poems (excerpted), tempt us, taunt us, tell us what to read and where to go (to read ...more
157639 Parents Reading Book Club — 219 members — last activity Oct 26, 2020 07:57AM
A book club for parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles to come together and share what books they and their children have enjoyed. Will aim to have t ...more
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This is a group for authors to discuss their craft, as well as publishing and book marketing.



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