Filling the Well: Elizabeth Graver on the early stages of the writing process


Elizabeth Graver portrait

Elizabeth Graver has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston College since 1993. She is the author of the National Book Award-nominated The End of the Point (2013),  as well as the novels Awake (2005), The Honey Thief (2000), and The Unraveling (1999) and the short story collection Have You Seen Me? (1991). 

I am currently in the early stages of a new project that finds its inspiration in the Sephardic Jewish history of my family on my mother’s side.  As is typical for me at this stage, the project’s shape (linked stories? novel? non-fiction?) is still well beyond my grasp. So, too, are the defining features of its central characters and even its time frame (1492-2014?  1910-1960?  1957?).  I love this phase, when everything is possibility and play. I research, mull, gather, interview, dream, discard, gather more, explore.

Two months ago, I traveled with my mother…

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Published in: on May 13, 2014 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Improper Bostonian


“The land of Ashaunt–truly a play on ‘haunt’–wraps itself around all the characters.   In 1947, the spirited Helen pens exuberant letters home from Europe. Later, she writes diaries as a grown up, balancing–with disgruntled unease–motherhood, graduate school, and psychoanalysis.

The narrative voices–Bea, Helen, Charlie–are so varied and compelling that at times Graver makes it sound as if the characters are thinking to themselves in poetry, even dreams . . . Charlie’s adolescent distress and loyalty to his family turf feel painfully authentic and oddly beautiful.  The same can be said of his friendship with an alienated Vietnam Vet, Jerry, who’s several steps crazier than the young man, but is likewise in love with the land.”

–Mopsy Strange Kennedy, The Improper Bostonian

Published in: on June 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reading Guide

Follow this link for the Harpers Reading Group Guide for The End of the Point.

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