Jeff Fearnside

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Jeff Fearnside

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Adalet Ağaoğlu, Ray Bradbury, Kate Chopin, E. E. Cummings, Gretel ...more

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December 2014


Jeff Fearnside’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in dozens of literary journals and anthologies, most recently About Place Journal, Naugatuck River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest (University of Washington Press, 2016). His writing has been nominated for Best New American Voices and three times for a Pushcart Prize.

His book Making Love While Levitating Three Feet in the Air, and Other Stories of Flight (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2016), which was a finalist for the New Rivers Press MVP Award and for the Permafrost Book Prize in Fiction, is a collection of 13 short stories set in the
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Jeff Fearnside Terrific question! The answer that most strongly comes to mind is from a book I first read in graduate school, which was also my first introduction to…moreTerrific question! The answer that most strongly comes to mind is from a book I first read in graduate school, which was also my first introduction to this author. Her influence on me may not be overtly evident, but I admire her strong plotlines, good use of humor, and highly believable characters. My favorite fictional couple is Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley in EMMA by Jane Austen.

What I like most about them is the growth we see in them over the course of the novel. Many dynamic characters in literature, especially lovers, often exhibit change in a downward arc. I’m all for a good dramatic tragedy, but that isn’t all there is to life! In EMMA, we have two characters who work through their own issues of stubbornness and a self-satisfied sense that they each are solely in the right. While it may appear that Miss Woodhouse has the most to learn, I can’t help feeling that Mr. Knightley’s name is used somewhat tongue-in-cheek. After all, he has to come down off his high horse, so to speak, to finally see that Emma is no longer a child in need of guidance but rather a woman capable of running her own household.

It’s refreshing to see how Austen breaks away from the well-worn “love at first sight” storyline to build a romance slowly, incrementally between Miss Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley so that we as readers understand what’s happening to them even before they do. It would never work if only one of them moved toward the other. They each take their own small, stumbling steps to meet in the middle and discover that their friendship has grown, through both trials and a building of mutual respect born directly out of those trials, into love. Sure, it’s the kind of happy ending that a serious literary writer would have a hard time pulling off today, in our much more cynical times, but I personally feel the story remains as realistic now as ever. Technically, its pacing is perfect, and even with a conclusion foregone fairly early in the novel, the twists and turns of plot never fail to surprise. Austen makes us care for these characters, and that’s exactly what made me fall in love with books in the first place.(less)
Jeff Fearnside Mary, it's wonderful to hear from you! Val and I think of you every time we make that wonderful beet salad we first ate in San Francisco with…moreMary, it's wonderful to hear from you! Val and I think of you every time we make that wonderful beet salad we first ate in San Francisco with you--it's one of our favorites. We are well, and my new book is off to a good start. I just had a reading in Eugene with some fantastic writers, and I have several more readings lined up. How about you? I'm sure you have something interesting in the works!(less)
Average rating: 4.4 · 98 ratings · 28 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Making Love While Levitatin...

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4.56 avg rating — 27 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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3.33 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 2002
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CREDO: An Anthology of Mani...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2018
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message 2: by Jeff

Jeff Fearnside Rhoda wrote: "Thanks Jeff..I do appreciate your wonderful review and thanks again for keeping me and our book in your heart. Rhoda"

You're very welcome, Rhoda! You and your book will certainly always remain in my heart.


message 1: by Rhoda

Rhoda Brooks Thanks Jeff..I do appreciate your wonderful review and thanks again for keeping me and our book in your heart. Rhoda


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