Alice K. Turner

a-turnerWhen I took my first serious fiction class at The New School, Alice Turner was my teacher. She knew all about plot and pacing and intent. When a student presented work to the class, though, she wouldn’t speak in those technical terminologies, she’d simply say “Wouldn’t it work better like this?” or say very directly, “What are you trying to say with this?” (I heard that one a few times). One evening as we waited for class to start and the room to empty, she and I sat on a bench in the hallway and she asked me what I wanted to do with my writing. I told her I wanted to make it my living. She nodded, smiled, said it was tough, but that if I wanted it I needed to not give up, no matter what the people like her said. Besides teaching that class, Alice also introduced me to my writing group, Altered Fluid, and without her and them I don’t know what I would’ve done. Probably not have written as much as I have. Over the years I saw Alice around at readings and parties, and she always had a smile, a kind word, and she always asked how the writing was going. I’m going to miss her.

Her obituary at The New York Times.

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