For a quarter century, more than a million readers--scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities--have been inspired by Anne Lamott's hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne's father--also a writer--in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" An essential volume for generations of writers young and old, Bird by Bird is a modern classic. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition will continue to spark creative minds for years to come.
Charles Baxter inaugurates The Art of, a new series on the craft of writing, with the wit and intelligence he brought to his celebrated book Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction.
Fiction writer and essayist Charles Baxter's The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot discusses and illustrates the hidden subtextual overtones and undertones in fictional works haunted by the unspoken, the suppressed, and the secreted. Using an array of examples from Melville and Dostoyevsky to contemporary writers Paula Fox, Edward P. Jones, and Lorrie Moore, Baxter explains how fiction writers create those visible and invisible details, how what is displayed evokes what is not displayed.
The Art of Subtext is part of The Art of series, a new line of books by important authors on the craft of writing, edited by Charles Baxter. Each book examines a singular, but often assumed or neglected, issue facing the contemporary writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The Art of series means to restore the art of criticism while illuminating the art of writing.
Something is going on out there. Almost simultaneously, many of our finest writers are experimenting with a new nonfiction form: brief pieces that are literary and personal rather than informational, complete in themselves, and short--very short. Although the form has not had a name until now, the writers who are attracted to it include the known--Tim O'Brien, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, Michael Ondaatje--as well as just-discovered voices in the field of creative nonfiction, a genre that is transforming the essay.
Delights and surprises await the reader in this rich gathering of Shorts. From Diane Ackerman's fascination with hummingbirds, to Andrei Codrescu's idiosyncratic view of nostalgia, to Albert Goldbarth's free-wheeling riff on the universe, each Short--ranging from several paragraphs to 2,000 words--becomes a sharply focused lens on an outer world or an inner sensibility.
In Short, reflecting almost every way in which nonfiction can be written, is for all readers (and writers) who thrive on imaginative play and aesthetic satisfaction. Pick up this book; open it up. See if you can resist it.
Growing Up White is for everyone who wants to know more about our schools, our community, our country, and ourselves. Julie Landsman takes the reader on an inventory of her life, pulling from events and scenes, a set of lessons learned. She discloses honestly and unflinchingly the privileges she has experienced as a white person and connects those to her presence in city classrooms where she taught for over 25 years. As a teacher Julie made mistakes, learned from them, made more and concludes that understanding race in America is an ongoing process. Her book is rich with suggestions for working in our schools today, where we find a primarily white teaching force and an expanding population of students of color. She believes that these students make our schools rich and exciting places in which to work. Landsman also believes that white teachers can reach their students in deep and positive ways. Because she invites you to go along with her in revealing the basis of her upbringing and her choices, the story itself is engaging. Readers arrive at the final chapters with an appreciation not only for the complexity of our history as individuals around race, gender and class but with real hope in education as a way to create a place where all children get a fair chance at success. Julie can be reached at email@example.com.
"Writing is spooky," according to Norman Mailer. "There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words." In The Spooky Art, Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it. Addressing the reader in a conversational tone, he draws on the best of more than fifty years of his own criticism, advice, and detailed observations about the writer's craft.Praise for The Spooky Art
"The Spooky Art shows Mailer's brave willingness to take on demanding forms and daunting issues. . . . He has been a thoughtful and stylish witness to the best and worst of the American century."--The Boston Globe "At his best--as artists should be judged--Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure. There is enough of his best in this book for it to be welcomed with gratitude."--The Washington Post
" The Spooky Art] should nourish and inform--as well as entertain--almost any serious reader of the novel."--Baltimore Sun "The richest book ever written about the writer's subconscious."--The Philadelphia Inquirer "Striking . . . entrancingly frank."--Entertainment Weekly
Praise for Norman Mailer
" Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation."--The New York Times "A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent."--The New Yorker "A devastatingly alive and original creative mind."--Life "Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance."--The New York Review of Books "The largest mind and imagination in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book."--Chicago Tribune "Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream."--The Cincinnati Post
What if everything we have been taught about learning to write was wrong? In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron's most revolutionary book, the author of the bestselling self-help guide The Artist's Way, asserts that conventional writing wisdom would have you believe in a false doctrine that stifles creativity. With the techniques and anecdotes in The Right to Write, readers learn to make writing a natural, intensely personal part of life. Cameron's instruction and examples include the details of the writing processes she uses to create her own bestselling books. She makes writing a playful and realistic as well as a reflective event. Anyone jumping into the writing life for the first time and those already living it will discover the art of writing is never the same after reading The Right to Write.
This book, based on his writing seminars, research into dreams and creativity, and film development, is, as the New York Times states, "crammed with the sort of useful advice that it seems to take some people years to learn."
Fifty remarkable short stories from a range of contemporary fiction authors including Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, and more, selected from a survey of more than five hundred English professors, short story writers, and novelists.Contributors include Russell Banks, Donald Barthelme, Rick Bass, Richard Bausch, Charles Baxter, Amy Bloom, T.C. Boyle, Kevin Brockmeier, Robert Olen Butler, Sandra Cisneros, Peter Ho Davies, Janet Desaulniers, Junot Diaz, Anthony Doerr, Stuart Dybek, Deborah Eisenberg, Richard Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Dagoberto Gilb, Ron Hansen, A.M. Homes, Mary Hood, Denis Johnson, Edward P. Jones, Thom Jones, Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, David Leavitt, Kelly Link, Reginald McKnight, David Means, Susan Minot, Rick Moody, Bharati Mukherjee, Antonya Nelson, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim O'Brien, Daniel Orozco, Julie Orringer, ZZ Packer, Annie Proulx, Stacey Richter, George Saunders, Joan Silber, Leslie Marmon Silko, Susan Sontag, Amy Tan, Melanie Rae Thon, Alice Walker, and Steve Yarbrough.
An indispensable guide to nonfiction writing from the Columbia Journalism School professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist behind the bestsellers Blind Eye, Blood Sport, and Den of Thieves.In Follow the Story, bestselling author and journalist James B. Stewart teaches you the techniques of compelling narrative writing, from nonfiction books to articles, feature stories, or memoirs. Stewart provides concrete directions for conceiving, reporting, structuring, and writing nonfiction--techniques that he has used in his own successful books and stories. By using examples from his own work, Stewart illustrates systematically a way of thinking about and executing stories, a method that has helped numerous reporters and Columbia students become better writers. Follow the Story examines in detail:
- How an idea is conceived How to "sell" ideas to editors and publishers How to report the nonfiction story Six models that can be used for any nonfiction story How to structure the narrative story How to write introductions, endings, dialogue, and description How to introduce and develop characters How to use literary devices Pitfalls to avoid