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Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Lifeby Dani Shapiro
Synopses & Reviews
"In this hybrid guide, meditation, and memoir, novelist and memoirist Shapiro (Devotion) shares thoughts and strategies on the act of writing and the writing life. Focusing on the creative process itself, Shapiro divides her book into three parts — Beginnings, Middles, and Ends — and sprinkles thoughts in from all corners. For example, 'Beginnings' contains ideas on how to begin a piece, as well as how to shore up self-confidence when young and just starting out. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a dearth of specifics in relation to craft. Concrete nuggets, such as an anecdote about unconsciously overusing the word 'muffled' — a repetition Shapiro thinks indicates a lack of closeness to her characters — are the exception, not the rule. More prevalent are inspirational statements such as: 'I reach for treasures in this underwater landscape. Ones that only I can see.... Courage is all about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.' Many of the clichÃ©s do contain truth — 'It is the job of the writer to say, look at that. To point. To shine a light' — but little in the book distinguishes it from a crowded field." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Everything I know about life, I learned from the daily practice of sitting down to write.”
From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life.
Through a blend of deeply personal stories about what formed her as a writer, tales from other authors, and a searching look at her own creative process, Shapiro offers her gift to writers everywhere: an elegant guide of hard-won wisdom and advice for staying the course. The writers life requires courage, patience, empathy, openness. It requires the ability to be alone with oneself. Gentle with oneself. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks.” Writers—and anyone with an artistic temperament—will find inspiration and comfort in these pages. Offering lessons learned over twenty years of teaching and writing, Shapiro brings her own revealing insights to weave an indispensable almanac for modern writers.
Like Anne Lamotts Bird by Bird, Virginia Woolfs A Writers Diary, and Stephen Kings On Writing, Dani Shapiros Still Writing is a lodestar for aspiring scribes and an eloquent memoir of the writing life.
About the Author
Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black and White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure.
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