Synopses & Reviews
Voice Lessons is a book about writing from a woman with a remarkable story to tell and an utterly distinctive voice in which to tell it. Nancy Mairs's essays have been called "triumphs... of will, style, candor, thought and even form" (Los Angeles Times). She has won acclaim for her autobiographical writing on themes from living with depression to renewing a marriage, from sex to religion. In Voice Lessons, Mairs's subjects are literary, but as always her approach is personal, revealing, and inspiring. Mairs first shares her sharply drawn story on how "finding a voice" as an essayist transformed her life when she was a graduate student, wife, and mother in her late thirties. In a tribute to the liberating power of literature and feminist ideas, she shows how the words of other writers made possible a new career, a new life in difficult times. Voice Lessons goes on to explore other women's writing and to outline a singular kind of literary life. Always grounding her writing in personal experience, always making ideas concrete, Mairs gives us essays on writing and the body, the challenges of autobiography, the revelatory power of Virginia Woolf and Alice Walker, the literature of personal disaster, and the art of dealing with rejection. Articulate, witty, incisive, and inspirational, Voice Lessons is a book for writers and aspiring writers, and for everyone who loves women's writing.