A deadly accident, never to be spoken of

“Signal Fires” by Dani Shapiro. (Alfred A. Knopf/TNS)

“Signal Fires” by Dani Shapiro; Alfred A. Knopf (240 pages, $28)

Don’t write about accidents, a professor once warned my college creative writing class. The admonition confused me. Why wouldn’t you write about an accident, with all its inherent drama? Once it happens, she explained, everything stops, resolution is difficult. I suspect she told us this to ward off having to grade a raft of sophomoric short stories from actual sophomores.

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