In honor of Alice Munro’s Nobel prize, I asked Jim for Alice Munro stories that he especially loves. The first story that came to his mind was “”Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.” It begins:
Years ago, before the train stopped running on so many of the branch lines, a woman with a high, freckled forehead and a frizz of reddish hair came into the railway station and inquired about shipping furniture.
The station agent often tried a little teasing with women, especially the plain ones who seem to appreciate it.
“Furnture?” he said, as if no one had such an idea before. “Well. Now. What kind of furniture are we talking about?”
Purchase the collection of stories by clicking here.
Here’s a clip produced by Knopf in which Jim explains how he accesses his emotional world in his writing. This short clip provides valuable insight into Jim’s work.
Musician and writer Chris Tarry on Jim Shepard as teacher:
In May 2010 I was doing a jazz composers residency at the Banff Center in Canada. while I was there, I met the super-cool author Meg Wolitzer, who was there as part of the writing faculty. I had just gotten into Breadloaf, and we were having dinner so I asked her who I should sign up for for my Breadloaf workshop teacher. She suggested that Jim Shepard (who was teaching at Breadloaf that year), would be an excellent fit. So, I put down Jim Shepard’s name on the acceptance form having never really read much of his work. Well, long story short, he changed the way I look at writing forever. Truly inspirational. I’ve been lucky enough to have kept in touch with him since, and through Breadloaf (directly or indirectly), he has helped me out with most of the stories in this small collection.
Read Chris Tarry’s interview here. Learn more about Chris Tarry by visiting his blog.
….to apply to spend a week in Italy with Jim Shepard, Dani Shapiro, and Peter Cameron at Sirenland Writer’s Conference. So all you writers out there, dust off your old story or your novel excerpt, do some editing, and submit online by October 31.