Meghan O’Rourke

Author of The Long Goodbye

Meghan O’Rourke began her career as one of the youngest editors in the history of The New Yorker. The Long Goodbye is
her first memoir.


Bruce Holbert on finding your path.


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Featured Articles & Reviews

Writing is an Intergenerative Disease
by Anna Sheehan
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The Beautiful Truth
by Jennifer Paros
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Book Reviews
Editor's Pick
The Conviction

reviewed by Jon Land
read article
I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar (and Write!)
by Erin Brown
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Writing is an Intergenerative Disease
by Anna Sheehan

Bow our authorial heads for Ray Bradbury.


There is a terrible fact about writing, one you won’t read about in medical journals. Did you know that everyone who has written a book has died, or will die? It is true, it is proven, and it is the kind of statistic that no one ever mentions. Intergenerative diseases like writing travel through entire cultures, pervading our thought processes and corrupting our children. And there is nothing we can do to stem the flow of death.

I was thinking about this recently when I heard about the death of Maurice Sendak. I remembered his books from when I was little. The illustrious children’s book author inspired and terrified generations of children, with Wild Things, vanished children, and babies made of ice. I loved ‘em.

It has of course happened since time immemorial, these insidious deaths of authors. I remember I cried when I learned that my personal goddess, the fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones, died in March of last year. Jones’ books were some of the few things that provided hope and escape through the peer-beaten, heart-searching childhood I endured. What would happen, now that she had been taken from this world? Who would fill the void she left behind?
  more...

The Beautiful Truth
by Jennifer Paros

I have heard about an African tribe in which female members, early in pregnancy, go off with other women to pray, intending to hear the “song” of the spirit of the new child.  Once the women intuit the song, they sing it in celebration of the upcoming birth.  When the baby is born, the community sings it again, in welcome.  And whenever the child goes through a rite of passage, the group sings the song in his honor.  And if that tribe member does something considered socially aberrant, the community encircles him and, once more, sings the song.  There is no punishment for the crime, only the acknowledgement that this person has forgotten the song of the spirit - who he really is. 

The truth of who we are is the best source for direction and guidance in the creative process of writing or anything. The personality never provides a true purpose; it provides an image and representation in the world. It is more about outer form than inner content, which is useful – just not as a compass for a meaningful journey.  more...

Book Reviews
Editor's Pick
The Conviction

reviewed by Jon Land

I thought I’d already read the best legal thriller of the year in William Landay’s brilliant Defending Jacob.  Turns out I was wrong.  The Conviction by Robert Dugoni is even more riveting and harrowing.  A brilliantly constructed and harrowing tale of the justice system run amok and one father’s fight to free his son from a modern day prison work camp. 

Not that the good guys are without blame here.  Series stalwart Attorney David Sloane is still struggling to reconcile the demands of his career with the struggles of his now sixteen-year-old son Jake.  Kid just can’t stay out of trouble; even when Sloane decides some time in the woods might be just what they both need, Jake a fellow bad boy break into a back country store and end up imprisoned in a juvenile facility that would test the will of Cool Hand Luke himself.  In fighting to free Jake from a miscarriage of justice at the hands of a corrupt judge, Sloane finds himself battling a justice system that seems straight out of Deliverance, resorting ultimately to the kind of tactics the people he defends normally use. more...

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar (and Write!)
by Erin Brown

Not so fast, Ms. Wolf. Over the past fifteen years (wow, I am gettin’ up there, eh?) that I’ve been editing women’s fiction, both at publishing houses and as a freelance editor, I’ve seen publishing trends for female writers come and go and have worked with some incredible female bestselling authors, yet never have I been more excited for my fellow woman than I am right now. To view the changes taking place on the literary landscape for female writers is to witness history, and I’m thrilled to be a very small part of it with every edit I make and female author that I encourage.

So for all you ladies out there—this is your moment to shine! So burn your bras, read some old volumes of Ms. magazine, and stock up on Susan B. Anthony coins, ‘cause now is the time to rule the world! Okay, I’ve taken a breath and I’m back in reality. I’ve just been getting a little excited over all of this.  more...

 

 

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