Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

Fascism

alarming information, what to do with it

I think I’m too distractible to write in a coffeeshop. Instead of figuring out what Rose will do with the alarming information she just discovered, I listen to the girls next to me discussing electrons. I listen to some guys complaining about a co-worker. I listen to the men at the next table speaking in Spanish, trying to see how much I can understand (not much). Should I resume my […]

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pizza with the nazis

The neo-Nazis were having pizza too. My French student sat at the table next to the Nazis with her girlfriend and child but she must not read the newspaper or follow local social media because she didn’t seem to know. The neo-Nazis’ pictures are all over the place. They are quite famous in our little town. They remind me of the bikers I hung out with, years ago. The bikers […]

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not exactly Pinochet, but you know what I mean

an uncomfortably accurate post from my blog dated TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010: “not exactly Pinochet, but you know what I mean The photographs of Chileans celebrating in the streets after Allende was elected remind me a little of the pictures of people here, after Obama’s election night.  For a moment, goodness triumphed.  And then it changed again. And then it was worse, more stupid and more cruel, than anyone could […]

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targeted for elimination

  I wrote a novel based on eugenics, but my agent didn’t like it. Once she didn’t like it, I found that I didn’t either. I thought the backstory was more interesting than the front story. I thought the whole section that takes place when the protagonist lives with a male prostitute in New York City was just an excuse for me to write about when I lived with a […]

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the wrong reader

Dense, dreary and boring,  one Amazon reviewer calls WG Sebold’s book, Austerlitz, like it doesn’t occur to him that he might simply be the wrong reader. Like maybe he doesn’t get it. Man Ray says if you don’t like something, turn away, go find something else. Which is hard to do but good to keep in mind. I was walking with Harrison yesterday at dusk, my favorite time of day. […]

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Three Queens

I’ve begun my young adult novel yet again. How many ways can I write the same story?  It was going to be my simple story, the one I wrote quickly, for fun. Oh, and my agent thought it would sell. Let’s be honest. The first version was disturbingly similar to the movie, The Sixth Sense. Something I didn’t notice until I had completed it. I went back and watched that […]

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