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The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers

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The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers Cover

ISBN13: 9780679734031
ISBN10: 0679734031
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing.

Review:

"The Art of Fiction is a 'how to' guide for the neophyte who wants to sharpen his writing skills. Its author, the late John Gardner, was not only an accomplished writer but a teacher as well, having been a veteran of many a fiction workshop. Gardner's teaching experience led him to concentrate on technique as a means to successful fiction writing. His book is a collection of do's and don'ts for the young writer, supplemented with examples of the right and wrong ways of writing. Above all, Gardner believed that practice makes perfect, and he has included numerous writing exercises for those who wish to improve. Gardner may be naïve in concluding that anyone who wants to write can, but his optimistic teaching approach is infectious and is sure to encourage those who until now have been too shy to try." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Review:

"John Gardner was famous for his generosity to young writers, and (this book) is his...gift to them. The Art of Fiction will fascinate anyone interested in how fiction gets put together. For the young writer, it will become a necessary handbook, a stern judge, an encouraging friend." The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will continue to do so for many years to come.  

 

John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence. Written with passion, precision, and a deep respect for the art of writing, Gardner’s book serves by turns as a critic, mentor, and friend. Anyone who has ever thought of taking the step from reader to writer should begin here.  

About the Author

Johh Gardner taught creative writing at many universities. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1982 at age 49.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

dougpinkston, April 23, 2010 (view all comments by dougpinkston)
Gardner is an American classic. At his best, he is the best writer of English prose I've ever read. (See October Light.) His non-fiction is complex, poetic and clever. I don't understand it all, but I enjoy the ride -- which is the point.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
believemeyou, March 16, 2010 (view all comments by believemeyou)
John Gardner is a feisty provocateur in "The Art of Fiction." The book is full of insights that can and do guide the young writer. Who am i kidding? It still helps me and I am not young. I especially like the section that chastises the writer for the use of Latinate phrases. This book is a rare treasure and the voice--OK the voice--yes it is dated--but wise and Gardner's craft talk resists the forces of time. Who cares if he is out of contemporary step--his methods may be old but his lessons are classic. And every time I read this book, every time i come across that niggling voice--he is alive again. He is slamming my over-wrought syntax--he withering my diction. Gardner's teaching has become legendary and though i never had the chance to hear his voice--I still do. If you read this book and allow that voice to speak to you--you will become a better writer. The craft book has the power to transform your work if you let him scold you and deride you and sneer at your fancy prose. In "The Art of Fiction" John Gardner does not mask his voice. He'll spank your prose and lead you into your own dream of fiction. It's not a difficult read unless you're "sensitive." Sink into this book--if it doesn't make you a better writer it might just spook you a bit.
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sudra, July 24, 2009 (view all comments by sudra)
I have to agree with "a reader" below - this is NOT a book for young writers. In fact, it's more likely to discourage young writers.

Gardner seems so distracted by his love of language and the theory of fiction that he's unable or unwilling to communicate his "notes on craft" in a clear and simple manner.

There are some important concepts in this book, but you'll likely have to read it twice with a highlighter in hand if you want to get anything out of it.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679734031
Author:
Gardner, John
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Editor:
Laslocky, J.
Author:
Laslocky, J.
Author:
Gardner John
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Writing Skills
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Authorship
Subject:
History, criticism and surveys
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - Fiction
Subject:
Technique
Subject:
Fiction -- Technique.
Subject:
Fiction -- Authorship.
Subject:
REFERENCE / Writing Skills
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Reference/Writing
Subject:
Reference-Writing Fiction
Subject:
writing;reference;fiction;non-fiction;creative writing;literature;how-to;essays;literary criticism;on writing;criticism;20th century;fiction writing;language;writing craft;instruction;john gardner;teaching;american;english;theory;art
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Vintage Books ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
TM 10-4510-206-14
Publication Date:
19910631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.02x5.18x.63 in. .49 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » Writing » Fiction
Reference » Writing » General

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780679734031 Reviews:
"Review" by , "John Gardner was famous for his generosity to young writers, and (this book) is his...gift to them. The Art of Fiction will fascinate anyone interested in how fiction gets put together. For the young writer, it will become a necessary handbook, a stern judge, an encouraging friend."
"Synopsis" by , This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers—and will continue to do so for many years to come.  

 

John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner’s lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics—from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence. Written with passion, precision, and a deep respect for the art of writing, Gardner’s book serves by turns as a critic, mentor, and friend. Anyone who has ever thought of taking the step from reader to writer should begin here.  

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