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1 Beaverton Anthologies- General

The Book of Other People

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The Book of Other People Cover

ISBN13: 9780143038184
ISBN10: 0143038184
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stellar host of writers explore the cornerstone of fiction writing: character.

The Book of Other People is about character. Twenty-five or so outstanding writers have been asked by Zadie Smith to make up a fictional character. By any measure, creating character is at the heart of the fictional enterprise, and this book concentrates on writers who share a talent for making something recognizably human out of words (and, in the case of the graphic novelists, pictures). But the purpose of the book is variety: straight realism — if such a thing exists — is not the point. There are as many ways to create character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples.

The writers featured in The Book of Other People include:

  • Aleksandar Hemon
  • Nick Hornby
  • Hari Kunzru
  • Toby Litt
  • David Mitchell
  • George Saunders
  • Colm Tibn
  • Chris Ware
  • and more

Review:

"'The instruction was simple: make somebody up,' explains novelist Smith in her introduction to this marvelous compendium of 23 distinct, pungent stories that attack the question of 'character' from all angles. From David Mitchell's hilarious rendering of one menopausal woman's fantasy internet love-affair to ZZ Packer's heart-wrenching Jewish guy-black girl romance, each story is, as Smith puts it, 'its own thing entirely.' There are moments of prosaic precision (Andrew O'Hagan's eerily incisive 'Gordon' is introduced 'in the talcum-powdered air of the bathroom muttering calculations and strange moral sums about the cause of Hamlet's unhappiness'), but this volume is more than a showcase for deft prose and quirky souls. Toby Litt's lovely, lyrical 'Monster,' for example, playfully upends notions of personhood, as does Dave Eggers' surprising 'Theo,' a moving tale of a mountain who falls in love. Also on hand are a number of wonderful graphic shorts: Daniel Clowe shrewdly explores an insufferable critic's solipsistic lapses, Nick Hornby's 'A Writing Life' gives a knowing wink with a series of writer bios and mock headshots, and 'Jordan Wellington Lint' by Chris Ware cleverly chronicles the first 13 years of its hero's life. With so much to savor-the sensuality of Adam Thirlwell's 'Nigora,' the knowingness of George Saunder's 'Puppy'-this anthology will sate even the most famished short story fan. Sales benefit Eggers's nonprofit literary organization 826 NYC." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[T]he strongest stories in The Book of Other People should serve as introductions to their authors' oeuvres, enticing the reader to investigate further the work of writers like Edwidge Danticat, Jonathan Lethem and Colm Toibin." Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Review:

"The stories included here are wonderfully various, the styles wide-ranging, the tempers diverse." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Some of these stories are clunky....But in the best of them, Lethem, Eggers, Danticat and Smith herself create satisfying characters as memorable as any in their novels." USA Today

Synopsis:

A stellar host of writers explore the cornerstone of fiction writing: character

The Book of Other People is about character. Twenty-five or so outstanding writers have been asked by Zadie Smith to make up a fictional character. By any measure, creating character is at the heart of the fictional enterprise, and this book concentrates on writers who share a talent for making something recognizably human out of words (and, in the case of the graphic novelists, pictures). But the purpose of the book is variety: straight "realism"-if such a thing exists-is not the point. There are as many ways to create character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples.

The writers featured in The Book of Other People include:

Aleksandar Hemon

Nick Hornby

Hari Kunzru

Toby Litt

David Mitchell

George Saunders

Colm Tand#243;iband#237;n

Chris Ware, and more

Synopsis:

A stellar group of writers explore the cornerstone of fiction writing: creating character. There are as many ways to develop character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples.

About the Author

Zadie Smith was born in Northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area. She is the author of White Teeth and The Autograph Man.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

sassy_spice1975, April 4, 2011 (view all comments by sassy_spice1975)
Each of the stories in this collection focus on character. We meet monsters, giants, crazy people and even some ordinary people living complicated lives. The stories are so well written, anyone who loves good, thoughtful writing will enjoy this selection. For writers, it's a great glimpse into the minds of other writers when they're challenged to write a story where the character is the driving force. Wonderful. I highly recommend it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
piperoliveravram, March 22, 2008 (view all comments by piperoliveravram)
One of the best short story collections that I've read in a long time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143038184
Author:
Smith, Zadie
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Short stories, American
Subject:
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Characters and characteristics in literature
Subject:
Anthologies-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
B/w illustrations on pp. 75-78. Full-col
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.98x6.06x.81 in. .87 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Book of Other People Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143038184 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The instruction was simple: make somebody up,' explains novelist Smith in her introduction to this marvelous compendium of 23 distinct, pungent stories that attack the question of 'character' from all angles. From David Mitchell's hilarious rendering of one menopausal woman's fantasy internet love-affair to ZZ Packer's heart-wrenching Jewish guy-black girl romance, each story is, as Smith puts it, 'its own thing entirely.' There are moments of prosaic precision (Andrew O'Hagan's eerily incisive 'Gordon' is introduced 'in the talcum-powdered air of the bathroom muttering calculations and strange moral sums about the cause of Hamlet's unhappiness'), but this volume is more than a showcase for deft prose and quirky souls. Toby Litt's lovely, lyrical 'Monster,' for example, playfully upends notions of personhood, as does Dave Eggers' surprising 'Theo,' a moving tale of a mountain who falls in love. Also on hand are a number of wonderful graphic shorts: Daniel Clowe shrewdly explores an insufferable critic's solipsistic lapses, Nick Hornby's 'A Writing Life' gives a knowing wink with a series of writer bios and mock headshots, and 'Jordan Wellington Lint' by Chris Ware cleverly chronicles the first 13 years of its hero's life. With so much to savor-the sensuality of Adam Thirlwell's 'Nigora,' the knowingness of George Saunder's 'Puppy'-this anthology will sate even the most famished short story fan. Sales benefit Eggers's nonprofit literary organization 826 NYC." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[T]he strongest stories in The Book of Other People should serve as introductions to their authors' oeuvres, enticing the reader to investigate further the work of writers like Edwidge Danticat, Jonathan Lethem and Colm Toibin."
"Review" by , "The stories included here are wonderfully various, the styles wide-ranging, the tempers diverse."
"Review" by , "Some of these stories are clunky....But in the best of them, Lethem, Eggers, Danticat and Smith herself create satisfying characters as memorable as any in their novels."
"Synopsis" by ,
A stellar host of writers explore the cornerstone of fiction writing: character

The Book of Other People is about character. Twenty-five or so outstanding writers have been asked by Zadie Smith to make up a fictional character. By any measure, creating character is at the heart of the fictional enterprise, and this book concentrates on writers who share a talent for making something recognizably human out of words (and, in the case of the graphic novelists, pictures). But the purpose of the book is variety: straight "realism"-if such a thing exists-is not the point. There are as many ways to create character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples.

The writers featured in The Book of Other People include:

Aleksandar Hemon

Nick Hornby

Hari Kunzru

Toby Litt

David Mitchell

George Saunders

Colm Tand#243;iband#237;n

Chris Ware, and more

"Synopsis" by , A stellar group of writers explore the cornerstone of fiction writing: creating character. There are as many ways to develop character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples.
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