Synopses & Reviews
In Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life
, seventeen award-winning writers all expert teachers share the secrets of creating compelling, imaginative stories and novels. A combination handbook, writer's companion, and collection of spirited personal essays, the book is filled with specific examples, hard-won wisdom, and compassionate guidance for the developing or experienced fiction writer.
Each of the contributors is a current or former lecturer at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, one of the most highly respected writing programs in the country. Included are essays by Charles Baxter, Richard Russo, Robert Boswell, Karen Brennan, Judith Grossman, Ehud Havazelet, C. J. Hribal, Margot Livesey, Michael Martone, Kevin McIlvoy, Pablo Medina, Antonya Nelson, Susan Neville, Steven Schwartz, Jim Shepard, Joan Silber, Debra Spark, Peter Turchi, and Chuck Wachtel.
Rich with masterful examples and personal anecdotes, these imaginative essays provide hard-earned insight into a writer's work. The book will interest not only those seeking inspiration and guidance to become stronger writers, but also readers of contemporary literary fiction, who will find a number of surprising and original approaches to the writer's work by award-winning practitioners adept at teaching others what they know.
"I've been greatly instructed by these brilliant essays, many of which I first heard as lectures by my fellow faculty members in the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Now, happily, writers everywhere can profit from these essential and inspiring words." Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever
"Bringing the Devil To His Knees brings to the reader exactly the right mix of wisdom and humility. The solutions these writers offer to problems of craft and presentation are hard-earned, and it is the difficult cost of their knowledge, and the clarity with which they explain it, that makes this such an important and helpful book. It's less How To than What If?, which seems to me the wisest and most practical tact for a book of this sort to take. I would put it on my bookshelf between other indispensable guides to fictional craft Flaubert's Letters and Madame Bovary itself." Michael Parker, author of Towns Without Rivers
Fiction writers share the secrets of their craft in essays geared for the serious writer.
About the Author
Charles Baxter is author of several novels, including The Feast of Love
, Shadow Play
, and First Light
, and collections of stories including Believers
and A Relative Stranger
. He teaches writing at the University of Michigan.
Peter Turchi is author of the novel The Girls Next Door, a collection of stories, Magician, and a book of non-fiction, The Pirate Prince. He is Director of the MFA Program for Writers, Warren Wilson College.
Read an exclusive essay by Charles Baxter