Working for a living. That’s what the main character does in The Novelist. Secretly, she’s a poet who's trying to come to terms with who she really is and whether or not she has what it takes to be a novelist. An intriguing read for aspiring writers, blocked creatives, those who are looking for their true voice, or anyone who appreciates wit and wisdom about the literary world.
In this three-chapter excerpt, meet copywriter and poet, Laura, as she tries to figure out how to write a novel to meet Megan Willow's challenge: a book by September.
Megan has a thriving tea business and does everything in a big way. To her, the idea of writing a novel in a matter of months is beyond simple. All you need is the will, and you'll find the way.
Confused by romantic love and her own place in the writing world, Laura delves into her past, as she tries to bring a novel into the present. To tutor her efforts, she culls wisdom and hope from greats such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Mary Shelley, and medieval story-weaver Murasaki (whose real name has been lost to history, because she was a woman).
Can Laura write a novel by September? She might not even make a cup of tea by midnight. So who's to say.
Want more on the writing life? Visit Tweetspeak Poetry:
Author of six books including Love Etc.: Poems of Love, Laughter, Longing & Loss (2014); The Novelist: A Novella (2012); Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing (Twice named a Best Book of 2011). Blogger for Huffington Post Books. Poems have appeared at Every Day Poems, VQR, Best American Poetry, and NPR.
To state the pleasurable, Barkat is a damn fine writer. Her prose is elegant without becoming stuffy, plus the poetry included within the
text is astonishing in its range and individuality of styles. Truly,
this is the kind of tour from which springs de force.
—Hubert O’Hearn, former editor Herald de Paris, Contributing Editor San Francisco Book Review
The Novelist is a pleasurable escape into the known and unknown world of Laura's inner journey. Barkat's ability to weave poetry into prose makes it impossible not to sink into her beautiful writing. It's one of those rare books you'll finish but leave on the nightstand.
—Darrelyn Saloom, co-author of My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of A Girl Who Yearns to Box
Every letter, every construction, every pause tells of genius. This is a masterpiece.
—Claire Burge, author of Spin: Taking Your Creativity to the Nth Degree