This semester, my Fiction: Craft and Theory class has been studying all the elements of the genre, each week applying one of those discreet elements to individual short stories: point of view; characterization; time and pacing; mood and setting; narrative style, etc. And then at the end of each semester, we apply all of those elements to a recent novel. This year, I assigned a novel that blew me away when I read it in galleys: VERNON DOWNS, by Jaime Clarke, just out from Roundabout Press. Tomorrow night (Weds, 4/30), my class will take a field trip to the national treasure that is The Center for Fiction, located in midtown Manhattan, where, at 7 PM, Jaime Clarke will be in conversation with Charles Bock. Please join me. There’s a great Irish bar across the street, to which, after the event, attendees might repair.