“What about the Suffering?: The Quiet Power of Minor Characters,” an essay by upstreet author Scott Nadelson, appears in the December 2010 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, a publication of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Scott’s short story “Oslo” appeared in upstreet number six, and was listed as a Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories 2010, edited by Richard Russo.
Scott’s Chronicle essay discusses the importance of minor characters in fiction, both as examples of what a protagonist’s life might have been or might be in the future, and as catalysts who cause a protagonist to change his attitude or behavior in some way. To demonstrate this, he analyzes minor characters in two fictional works, the David Malouf short story “A Trip to the Grundelsee” and Anton Chekhov’s novella “Three Years.”
Scott Nadelson is the author of two story collections, The Cantor’s Daughter, recipient of the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize and the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Fiction Prize for Emerging Jewish Writers, and Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories, winner of the Oregon Book Award for short fiction and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Glimmer Train Stories, American Literary Review, Arts & Letters, Puerto del Sol, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Salem, OR. “Oslo” will appear in Scott’s third story collection, Aftermath, which is due to be released by Hawthorne Books in the Fall of 2011.