Andrea Oyarzabal, March 12, 2011 (view all comments by Andrea Oyarzabal)
This was a very moving memoir of what it means to be a writer, a reader, and the relationship one comes to have with their mentor--though complicated and obsessive at times as it may be. It was a phenomenal tribute to Frank Conroy, and a very interesting read that I would suggest to anyone that loves reading, considers themselves a writer, or wants to know more about Frank Conroy.
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acordier, August 28, 2010 (view all comments by acordier)
Loved this book, and really loved getting to know the characters so intimately, whom I grew to care about. It did give me pause about pursuing that novel (as many of us dream to), but left me wanting to keep reading and reading.
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Tin House Books -
by Kirkus Reviews (starred review),
"An illuminating account of a writer's life under the tutelage of another writer....Without wasting a word, Grimes presents a thoroughly readable view of how stories — and writers, at least of a certain kind — are made."
"[A] candid and finely wrought memoir....Grimes' staggering self-critique, keen tribute to Conroy as writer and mentor, and hard-won insights into the true demands of writing and the deep resonance of literature are arresting and cautionary, inspiring and affecting."
by Michael Dirda, The Washington Post,
"From now on, anyone who dreams of becoming a novelist will need to read Tom Grimes's brutally honest and wonderful Mentor. While there have been plenty of books on how to write, or how to get published, or how to promote your work, as well as a number of triumphalist accounts of 'making it,' this is a story of what it's like to just miss succeeding."
by T.C. Boyle,
"One of the truest accounts of a writer's life — of two writers' lives — I've yet seen. A poignant and beautiful book."
by Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried,
"It's astonishing how much insight, passion, pain, joy, self-doubt, and sheer love Tom Grimes has managed to pack into this tightly made memoir of his relationship with the writer Frank Conroy....Mentor is a beautiful, beautiful book — a monument both to Frank Conroy and to the writer's terrifying quest for artistic excellence."
by Robert Stone, author of Dog Soldiers,
"Mentor is a fine and unique achievement. It's moving as the record of a first rate writer's early career. But its uniqueness lies in its treatment of something quite ineffable, the way in which a major artist can nourish the talents and maintain the confidence of a younger one....Frank Conroy was a wild, wildly talented, phenomenal artist. Tom Grimes has served his memory superbly."
An intimate look at the writing life, the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, the fickle publishing world, and an extraordinary friendship with Frank Conroy.
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