In Praise of the Here and Now: Top 10 Present-Tense Novels


James Salter’s “A Sport and a Pastime” is a fine example of a present-tense novel.

“September. It seems these luminous days will never end.” This is how James Salter’s 1967 novel, “A Sport and a Pastime,” begins. The unnamed narrator is describing Paris—in the present tense. It made me pause because countless writing workshops, articles, and panel discussions tell us the same thing: Don’t write your novel in the present tense. (more…)