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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
How to Read a Poem is an unprecedented exploration of poetry and feeling. In language at once acute and emotional, distinguished poet and critic Edward Hirsch describes why poetry matters and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message can make a difference. In a marvelous reading of verse from around the world, including work by Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, and Sylvia Plath, among many others, Hirsch discovers the true meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives.
In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, requesting an assessment of their value. The older artist, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), replied to the novice in this series of letters -- an amazing archive of remarkable insights into the ideas behind Rilke's greatest poetry. The ten letters reproduced here were written during an important stage in Rilke's artistic development, and they contain many of the themes that later appeared in his best works. The poet himself afterwards stated that his letters contained part of his creative genius, making this volume essential reading for scholars, poetry lovers, and anyone with an interest in Rilke, German poetry, or the creative impulse.