Friday, July 07, 2006

Today I went and purchased the recently released Collected Stories of Amy Hempel. I’ve really been looking forward to getting this one, especially because I’m in dire need of some inspiration right now and I know that if anyone can help reboot my prose fingers it’s her. This handsome collection includes all four of her previous volumes, hardbound, with an introduction by Rick Moody. If you’re not already a Hempel devotee, here’s how Moody sums up her work:

“It’s all about the sentences. It’s about the way the sentences move in the paragraphs. It’s about rhythm. It’s about ambiguity. It’s about the way emotion, in difficult circumstances, gets captured in language.”

To me, that sums up what I am most interested in doing with my own work. Not storytelling - anybody who can speak or move their fingers can tell a story, it’s simple - but crafting language, that’s why I write. And that’s why I’m thrilled to begin reading this book: because Amy Hempel is an unparalleled master at constructing language.

Find out more about her here.

Today I'll leave you with a video. It's a live acoustic version of Dido singing "White Flag."