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“I believe so deeply in the primacy of language, in lifting your prose to the highest level you’re capable of and making your words symphonic.  But I worry that writing programs spend too much time on the words and not enough on the story.  Faulkner understood story, but he had such astounding technical skill he could seem to abandon it and no one would care.  But most students don’t have that staggering degree of technical ability, so they should learn to tell a story first.  That’s what it is at the end of the day – storytelling.  So my best piece of advice to aspiring novelists – after `Read’ – would be,`Don’t think of yourselves as writers; think of yourselves as storytellers.’ It would remove the pretension and the self-consciousness and a boatload of anxiety.”

– from an interview, New York Times Book Review November 4th, 2012 p.8

About the Writer:
Dennis Lehane grew up in Dorchester, Boston, which features prominently in Ben Affleck’s movie of Lehane’s novel “Gone, Baby, Gone,” especially Lehane’s actual parish.  Boston also figures in other books by Lehane, such as “Mystic River,” but not in Lehane’s Gothic tale “Shutter Island” starring Leonardo di Caprio.  The writer Lehane would most like to meet – living or dead – is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

– Eleni Anastasiou

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