Books: Writing as a Natural Reaction

JOYCE CAROL GATES can write eloquently from inside the heads of characters barely able to articulate. What she articulates through them occasionally may seem grotesque, overwhelming, overdrawn. But to anyone who finds it so, the author offers two creative precepts: "One has to be exhaustive and exhausting to really render the world in all its complexities and also in its dullness." And, "Gothicism, whatever it is, is not a literary tradition so much as a fairly realistic assessment of modern life." The assessment is based on six years of living and working in Detroit before she and her husband Raymond...

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