Reading and Writing: Shells for the Creation of Human Dramas

I got to nerd-out about Elizabeth Hardwick and how one of her essays changed the way I read (and write) fiction. The beginning of my essay is below. Read more at The Millions.

Reading The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick for a creative nonfiction craft lecture during the final residency for my MFA program gave me a greater appreciation for Hardwick’s work and changed the way I read. One essay from the collection,“Locations: The Landscapes of Fiction,” taught me to give more attention to objects and places in fiction instead of just viewing them as props that help set the stage or fill space. Using works from HawthorneFitzgeraldWharton, and others, Hardwick explores the connections between interior and exterior landscapes in American fiction and the characters who inhabit those landscapes. She writes about how the landscapes created by these authors inform readers beyond establishing the setting.