The Writing Class
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Amy Gallup was a promising writer once--published and highly praised at twenty-two. It was all downhill from there, and now, year in and year out, she teaches a writing workshop at the local university extension. And this semester begins just the same as the others. But then there's a threatening phone call, followed by obscene threats worked into the student's peer evaluations. Then a murder--and every one of the students is a suspect. The clues are hidden in their writing, and she (and we) can solve the murder only by looking more closely at each writer's attempts at fiction. Hilarious, vicious, and elegantly written, The Writing Class examines the desperation, perversion, and mania of the writing life through an unforgettable mystery story.
Jincy. The Writing Class / Jincy Willett—1st Thomas Dunne Books ed. p. cm. ISBN: 978-1-4668-0623-8 1. Women college teachers—Fiction. 2. Widows—Fiction. 3. Students—Crimes against—Fiction. 4. Murder—Fiction. I. Title. PS3573.I455 W75 2008 914'.54—dc22 2008009992 *though you could try kindling…manuscript paper might work! 1. Read “wacko.” Note that our lit queen (or king) can’t spell. 2. Sorry, can’t include this, but anyway it was misspelled. Naturally. 3. Sure, if you
was talking about. “So, there’s nothing more on the, you know, thing?” “Not really.” “Okay, well. I’ll see you next Wednesday.” Now Amy felt really guilty. She had spent most of the previous day deciding what to do about the latest Sniper assaults and had concluded, reasonably she was sure, that for the moment they were best kept to herself. She had known that Carla would call and want to know everything, and she had decided it would be better to keep her out of it. Amy trusted Carla and
writing.” Thank God. “Trying to get back in the swing, huh?” Syl looked startled. “Look, this is an extension course. At least a quarter of the people in any given class are just looking to hook up with somebody.” Amy took a swig of ale. “They’re usually pretty easy to spot because they don’t turn anything in. You’re a good sport, Syl. You actually bothered.” “Sort of. Are they ever, you know, successful? Hooking up?” “No clue.” “How about you?” “I beg your pardon?” “You married?” What was
that impertinent question. It was certainly possible. The Sniper was a good mimic, so textspeak wouldn’t be a problem. Fan was a flamer, and so (in spades) was the Sniper. But the longer she stared at this phrase, the more she found herself liking it. It made her smile, and in a way that only the verbal constructs of the very young could do (and the Sniper never did). She used to keep a notebook, long since misplaced, devoted solely to overheard dialogue from children and teens. For instance, she
you later,” she said. “Leave me alone for now, Carla. I mean it.” Amy and Alphonse walked and walked until he lay down in a parking lot and refused to budge. They were over a mile from home, in a strip mall with a Ralphs and a Staples and a pizza place where, according to the neon slogan, the dough was so fresh that you cooked it yourself. She had succeeded in blistering the balls of both feet but not in putting the genie (that hand, that letter) back in its bottle, and she knew that no matter