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Writers on Writing Collected Essays from The New York Times

Introduction by John Darnton; The New York Times

Times Books

0805070850

9780805070859

Trade Paperback

288 Pages

$16.00

CAD18.50

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By turns poignant, funny, and practical, Writers on Writing brings together more than forty of contemporary literature's finest voices. Drawn from the distinguished New York Times column of the same name, it features essays by an extraordinary group of prize-winning and bestselling contributors.

The pieces range from reflections on the daily craft of writing to the intersection of art and life's consequential moments. Authors discuss what impels them to write: creating a sense of control in a turbulent universe; bearing witness to events that would otherwise be lost in history or within the writer's soul; recapturing a fragment of time. Others praise mentors and lessons, whether from the classroom, daily circumstance, or the pages of a favorite writer. For anyone interested in the art or rewards of authorship, Writers on Writing offers an uncommon and revealing view of the writer's world.

Contributors include Russell Banks, Saul Bellow, E. L. Doctorow, Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Carl Hiaasen, Jamaica Kincaid, Susan Sontag, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker, Sue Miller, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Marge Piercy, Annie Proulx, Carol Shields, Jane Smiley, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Elie Wiesel, James Salter, and others.

REVIEWS

Praise for Writers on Writing

"An overwhleming sense of generosity of spirit, of writers offering encouragement, reflection, and introspection."—Kirkus Reviews

"Unlike many assemblages of previously published works, this collection of 41 essays from the New York Times's 'Writers on Writing' column is more than the sum of its parts. Just as Times culture editor Darnton hoped when he devised the series for writers to 'talk about their craft,' the result is a thoughtful examination of writers' concerns about the creative process and the place of literature in America. Appropriately for works commissioned for a major newspaper, the essays are immediately engaging and compelling all the way through."—Publishers Weekly

"In a time when everything around me seemed completely out of control, when lives were being cut short and fate seemed especially cruel, I had the need to get to an ending of something. I was desperate to know how things turned out, in fiction if not in life. More than ever, more than anything, I was a writer."—Alice Hoffman, from Writers on Writing

"The trial lawyer's job and the novelist's were, in some aspects, shockingly similar. Both involved the reconstruction of experience, usually through many voices. . . . But there the paths deviated. In this arena the universal trumped; there were no prizes for being rarefied or ahead of the times. The trial lawyer who lost the audience also inevitably lost the case."—Scott Turow, from Writers on Writing

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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John Darnton, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for his journalism, is culture editor for The New York Times and the author of two novels. He lives in New York.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Introduction by John Darnton; The New York Times

  • John Darnton, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for his journalism, is culture editor for The New York Times and the author of two novels. He lives in New York.
  • The New York Times
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