All tagged The Half-Known World

Two years ago, I sat in a large ballroom at the AWP Conference in Chicago listening to a panel on omniscience. The room was packed. It was easily capable of holding a lavish Victorian wedding reception for 750 people. I had no interest in omniscient point of view (and still sort of don’t, either writing or reading it), but I was there. I don’t remember paying attention to any of the panelists; if I did, it was forgotten quickly, because Robert Boswell took the podium. Mostly, he read a chapter from his book about fiction writing, The Half-Known World. I’m not sure anymore exactly what he said—he could have started with the same tale from his childhood that begins the chapter, or maybe he went straight for the meat of the essay. It doesn’t matter, because after the panel I immediately went downstairs to the Graywolf Press booth and bought his book. In fact, after Boswell finished speaking, I contemplated trying to sneak out of the panel to buy it before anyone else could get to it.