How to pronounce Maile Meloy: first name is pronounced my-lee. Last name is pronounced maloy
Maile Meloy was born in Helena, Montana, in 1972. A Family Daughter is her third book. Her short stories have been published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Her first story collection, Half in Love, received the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters , the John C. Zacharis Award from Ploughshares, and the PEN/Malamud Award. Her first novel, Liars and Saints, was shortlisted for Englands 2005 Orange Prize. Both books were New York Times Notable Books. She has also received The Paris Reviews Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in California.
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Maile Meloy answers a handful of frequently asked questions...
What are you reading?
Cheating at Canasta, by William Trevor, which led someone to ask me why anyone would cheat at a game like canasta. (The answer from the story: the character cheats to let his wife, who's losing her memory, win.) I just finished the incredible Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. Also The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, and Marisa Silver's wonderful new collection, Alone With You. Other books I've loved lately: Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, by David Eagleman, and Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann.
And it's a movie, not a book, but the documentary Prodigal Sons is wonderful, and set in my hometown.
What advice do you have for writers who have trouble focusing?
Set aside time to write, even if it's only an hour or two a day, and think of the time as the requirement. So you just have to be there, and it doesn't matter what you finish. I think it takes the pressure off the individual story or chapter, and you'll end up working on the ideas that seem most promising. I start many, many stories and abandon most of them, but eventually ...
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