Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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)
"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
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.
About the Author
Johh Gardner taught creative writing at many universities. He was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1982 at age 49.