First pages are impossible… so we’re hearing from authors about how they got them right.
In this episode, Frances de Pontes Peebles discusses the first pages of her latest novel, The Air You Breathe, her powerful use of a reminiscent narrator, how to plant the seeds of what your reader needs to know (and leave out what they don’t), how best to include lists and dialog to wake up your prose, and how to stick to your decisions as a writer.
The above link will be available for 48 hours. Missed it? The podcast version is always available, both here and on your favorite podcast platform.
Frances de Pontes Peebles is the author of the novels The Seamstress and The Air You Breathe. She is a Creative Writing Fellow in Literature for 2020 from The National Endowment for the Arts. Her books have been translated into ten languages and won the Elle Grand Prix for fiction, the Friends of American Writers Award, and the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Fellowship. Her second novel, The Air You Breathe, was a Book of the Month Club pick. Born in Pernambuco, Brazil, she is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has received a Fulbright Grant, Brazil’s Sacatar Foundation Fellowship, and was a Teaching Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her short stories and essays have appeared in O. Henry Prize Stories, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Guernica, Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Catapult, and Real Simple. Her novel, The Seamstress, was adapted for film and mini-series on Brazil’s Globo Network. She is proud to serve as Chair of the Board of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. In Spring 2019, she served as Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.