I met Hannah Tinti in 2005 when she visited my senior creative writing class at Hamilton College to speak with us about her writing processes and meet with each of us one-on-one to critique our writing. At the time, she was in the middle of writing The Good Thief.
I hit a wall while writing a story earlier that semester, so I submitted that story for a critique. I thought her comments might push me in the right direction. Most of my classmates, however, decided they would submit their best, most polished work because they didn't want to show a published author their problem drafts.
In my one-on-one session, I rememeber Hannah Tinti asking me what level writing class I was in, even though she should have known that everyone she was critiquing was in the senior class. She described to me all the basic elements of fiction writing, which I already knew. Apparently, my story had none of those...? I left the critique session feeling like a failure as a writer.
I hoped that I would dislike Hannah Tinti's The Good Thief so I could publicly berate it, but it just isn't so. Tinti writes wonderful prose, and it was her use of language that kept me interested enough in this story to keep reading. The book does not seem to have much purpose beyond entertainment value, though, which is ok if you're not searching for an indepth read.
Click here for my full review of this book.