My first encounter with James Woods was via his publication How Fiction Works (pub. 2008). In it Woods asks these questions, and more besides: “what makes a story a story? What is style? What’s the connection between realism and real life?” It’s a book I recommend.
Wood is an English literary critic, essayist and novelist. As of 2014, he is Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard Universityand a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.
Wood featured in a conversation last weekend (28 Sept. 2015) on Radio New Zealand’s Saturday Morning programme. It was an interesting conversation, and you’ll find it here.