“Bullet in the Brain”

This week we are reading Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain,” selected by our Potential New Member, Ari, who has submitted the questions below to get us thinking.

1. How does Wolff avoid the dangers of making Anders a flat character in the beginning of the story?

2. How does Wolff endear the reader to younger Anders in such a short span of time with the memory on the baseball field?

3. What are some things Wolff is doing to dictate or guide how the reader reads this story?

4. I sort of feel like this story makes some commentary on the process of writing itself. Do you agree/disagree? Maybe we can discuss how it works or doesn’t work.

5. How does the payoff at the end work? Does it feel convincing, or does it feel like a punch line, and how should we, as writers, navigate toward the former as opposed to the latter?

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