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Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times

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Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Now in paperback, today's most celebrated writers explore literature and the literary life in an inspirational collection of original essays.

By turns poignant, hilarious, and practical, Writers on Writing brings together more than forty of contemporary literature's finest voices.

Pieces range from reflections on the daily craft of writing to the intersection of art's and life's consequential moments. Authors discuss what impels them to write: creating a sense of control in a turbulent universe; bearing witness to events that would otherwise be lost in history or within the writer's soul; recapturing a fragment of time. Others praise mentors and lessons, whether from the classroom, daily circumstances, or the pages of a favorite writer. For anyone interested in the art and rewards of writing, Writers on Writing offers an uncommon and revealing view of a writer's world.

Contributors include Russell Banks, Saul Bellow, E. L. Doctorow, Richard Ford, Kent Haruf, Carl Hiaasen, Alice Hoffman, Jamaica Kincaid, Barbara Kingsolver, Sue Miller, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Carol Shields, Jane Smiley, Susan Sontag, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Alice Walker, and Elie Wiesel.

Review:

"[A] thoughtful examination of writers' concerns about the creative process and the place of literature in America....[T]he essays are immediately engaging and compelling all the way through....Overall, the writers' pensiveness and amity make for a thought-provoking yet reassuring read — a good bedside book." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The essays...are all unified by an overwhelming sense of generosity of spirit, of writers offering encouragement, reflection, and introspection..." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[O]ne of the finest series of literary essays found in newsprint...is now, hallelujah, preserved in book form....[P]iquant, bracing, and virtuosic essays that are as much about life as they are about creativity." Booklist

Review:

"[An] intimate, chatty collection....What emerges is a sense of the mysterious way in which fiction chooses those with not merely good stories to tell but dedication to the physical act of writing itself." Library Journal

Review:

"Teens interested in writing fiction will find inspiration, advice, and humor in these 43 essays....Teens will be familiar with some if not all of the writers in this collection, but all of these fine authors have something enlightening to say." School Library Journal

About the Author

John Darnton, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for his journalism, is culture editor for The New York Times and the author of two novels. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction by John Darnton

A Literary Pilgrim Progresses to the Past by André Aciman

A Novelist's Vivid Memory Spins Fiction of Its Own by Russell Banks

To Engage the World More Fully, Follow a Dog by Rick Bass

Hidden Within Technology's Empire, a Republic of Letters by Saul Bellow

Pupils Glimpse an Idea, Teacher Gets a Gold Star by Anne Bernays

Characters' Weaknesses Build Fictions' Strengths by Rosellen Brown

How Can You Create Fiction When Reality Comes to Call? by Carolyn Chute

From Echoes Emerge Original Voices by Nicholas Delbanco

Quick Cuts: The Novel Follows Film into a World of Fewer Words by E. L. Doctorow

Two Languages in Mind, but Just One in the Heart by Louise Erdrich

Instant Novels? In Your Dreams! by Thomas Fleming

Goofing Off While the Muse Recharges by Richard Ford

A Novelist Breaches the Border to Nonfiction by Gail Godwin

Putting Pen to Paper, but Not Just Any Pen or Just Any Paper by Mary Gordon

To See Your Story Clearly, Start by Pulling the Wool over Your Own Eyes by Kent Haruf

Real Life, That Bizarre and Brazen Plagiarist by Carl Hiaasen

Sustained by Fiction While Facing Life's Facts by Alice Hoffman

The Enduring Commitment of a Faithful Storyteller by Maureen Howard

 
Inventing Life Steals Time, Living Life Begs It Back by Gish Jen

Pesky Themes Will Emerge When You're Not Looking by Diane Johnson

Sitting Down a Novelist, Getting Up a Playwright by Ward Just

Those Words That Echo . . . Echo . . . Echo Through Life by Jamaica Kincaid

A Forbidden Territory Familiar to All by Barbara Kingsolver

Summoning the Mystery and Tragedy, but in a Subterranean Way by Hans Koning

Comforting Lessons in Arranging Life's Details by David Leavitt

The Humble Genre Novel, Sometimes Full of Genius by David Mamet

She Was Blond. She Was in Trouble. And She Paid 3 Cents a Word by Ed McBain

Virtual Reality: The Perils of Seeking a Novelist's Facts in Her Fiction by Sue Miller

For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day by Walter Mosley

To Invigorate Literary Mind, Start Moving Literary Feet by Joyce Carol Oates

A Storyteller Stands Where Justice Confronts Basic Human Needs by Sara Paretsky

Life of Prose and Poetry: An Inspiring Combination by Marge Piercy

Inspiration? Head Down the Back Road, and Stop for the Yard Sales by Annie Proulx

If You Invent the Story, You're the First to See How It Ends by Roxana Robinson

Once Upon a Time, Literature. Now What? by James Salter

Starting with a Tree and Finally Getting to the Death of a Brother by William Saroyan

Opting for Invention over the Injury of Invasion by Carol Shields

A Reluctant Muse Embraces His Task, and Everything Changes by Jane Smiley

Directions: Write, Read, Rewrite. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as Needed by Susan Sontag

0

An Odyssey That Started with Ulysses by Scott Turow

Questions of Character: There's No Ego as Wounded as a Wounded Alter Ego by John Updike (as Henry Bech)

Despite Tough Guys, Life Is Not the Only School for Real Novelists by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Metta to Muriel and Other Marvels: A Poets Experience of Meditation by Alice Walker

In the Castle of Indolence You Can Hear the Sound of Your Own Mind by Paul West

A Sacred Magic Can Elevate the Secular Storyteller by Elie Wiesel

Embarking Together on Solitary Journeys by Hilma Wolitzer

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805070859
Introduction by:
New York Times
Author:
Darnton, John
Author:
The New York Times
Author:
New York Times
Publisher:
Times Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Authorship
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
May 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.46 x 0.765 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » Writing » General

Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Times Books/Henry Holt - English 9780805070859 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] thoughtful examination of writers' concerns about the creative process and the place of literature in America....[T]he essays are immediately engaging and compelling all the way through....Overall, the writers' pensiveness and amity make for a thought-provoking yet reassuring read — a good bedside book."
"Review" by , "The essays...are all unified by an overwhelming sense of generosity of spirit, of writers offering encouragement, reflection, and introspection..."
"Review" by , "[O]ne of the finest series of literary essays found in newsprint...is now, hallelujah, preserved in book form....[P]iquant, bracing, and virtuosic essays that are as much about life as they are about creativity."
"Review" by , "[An] intimate, chatty collection....What emerges is a sense of the mysterious way in which fiction chooses those with not merely good stories to tell but dedication to the physical act of writing itself."
"Review" by , "Teens interested in writing fiction will find inspiration, advice, and humor in these 43 essays....Teens will be familiar with some if not all of the writers in this collection, but all of these fine authors have something enlightening to say."
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