William Norris biography

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William Norris
Photo: William Norris

William Norris

William Norris Biography

William Norris has taught for Hofstra University, the New School, the College of New Rochelle, and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop in New York City. He has written for Time Out: NY and The Hartford Courant, is the author of Snapshots: A Novel and has published photographs with The Star Ledger, The Associated Press, and Saltwater Sportsman.



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Interview

William Norris talks briefly about the story behind the writing of his first novel, Snapshots.

Before I started Snapshots I had never tried to write a novel. The form seemed daunting, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around its demands or the level of commitment required to see a novel length work through to completion. Instead, I wrote short fiction, much of it, in retrospect, not very good short fiction, and sent my pieces off to journals and magazines without success.

During that time, I wrote four or five stories with the same cast of characters; a family called the Mahoneys. There were four children, and I had written pieces narrated by three of them. I begin to envision a collection of linked stories narrated by each member of the family, but found myself blocked when I attempted to write a story told by Nora, the youngest member of the clan. I sat down each writing day, determined to get Nora’s voice right on the page, but when I read the work over the next morning, it was clear that I wasn’t even close. Everything I tried felt flat and forced.

Then, one morning in the summer of 1997, I typed, "Nora wakes first and toddles to the television hulking silently in the living room." It was the first time I had come at these characters in the third person, and the first time I had written about ...

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Books by this Author

Books by William Norris at BookBrowse
Snapshots jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for William Norris but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Carole Cadwalladr

    Carole Cadwalladr

    Carole Cadwalladr is a British author. Her first novel, The Family Tree, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Author's Club First Novel Award, theWaverton Good Read Award, and the Wales Book of the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Snapshots

    Try:
    The Family Tree
    by Carole Cadwalladr

  • Jonathan Franzen

    Jonathan Franzen

    Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1959, and grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1981 he studied at the Freie Universität in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Snapshots

    Try:
    The Corrections
    by Jonathan Franzen

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