Ideal for individual or classroom use, Architectures of Possibility theorizes and questions the often unconscious assumptions behind such traditional writing gestures as temporality, scene, and characterization; offers various suggestions for generating writing that resists, rethinks, and/or expands the very notion of narrativity; visits a number of important concerns/trends/ obsessions in current writing (both on the page and off); discusses marketplace (ir)realities; hones critical reading and manuscript editing capabilities; and strengthens problem-solving muscles from brainstorming to literary activism.
Exercises and supplemental reading lists challenge authors to push their work into self-aware and surprising territory.
In addition, Architectures of Possibility features something entirely lacking in most books about creative writing: more than 40 interviews with contemporary innovative authors, editors, and publishers (including Robert Coover, Lydia Davis, Brian Evenson, Shelley Jackson, Ben Marcus, Carole Maso, Scott McCloud, Steve Tomasula, Deb Olin Unferth, Joe Wenderoth, and Lidia Yuknavitch) working in diverse media, providing significant insights into the multifaceted worlds of experimental writers' writing.
What Are They Saying About Architectures of Possibility
"Architectures of Possibility opens up fiction to a possibility that 'gives us more life, extends and validates the range of what it means to be a human' in the twenty-first century ... [A] wonderful book on innovation and fiction[.]" —American Book Review
"In the midst of reading this book and its possibilities and their usefulnesses, you think that to finish reading this book and then to try to write something with it “in mind” is to try to type while also holding up each point of light in the night sky with your fingertips. Even worse, you think, each of these “things” in this “book” is not a single morsel to be consumed, not a nugget of gold worth its shine, but rather a seed planted, or worse yet, not a seed but a sac, millionfull of spores, celestial bodies of fire, dispersed, inhaled. You are overwhelmed."
"This is a book that any writer could have on her shelves and pick up again and again. Architectures of Possibility doesn’t ask writers to work towards some impossibly ideal text, but to resist, question, fail, re-build, proceed, and return."
"I am...crowning Lance Olsen’s book as the single best advisory to writers I have ever encountered. This is an absolutely masterful text."
—By the Book Reviews