Why I Read The Serious Pleasure of Books

Wendy Lesser

Picador

1250062098

9781250062093

Trade Paperback

240 Pages

CAD17.50

$15.00

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"Wendy Lesser's extraordinary alertness, intelligence, and curiosity have made her one of America's most significant cultural critics," writes Stephen Greenblatt. In Why I Read, she draws on a lifetime of pleasure reading and decades of editing to describe a life lived in and through literature. As Lesser examines work from such perspectives as "Character and Plot," "Novelty," "Grandeur and Intimacy," and "Authority," the reader will discover a definition of literature that is as broad as it is broad-minded. In addition to novels and stories, Lesser explores plays, poems, and essays, along with mysteries, science fiction, and memoirs. Her passion for reading is infectious—and it resonates on every page. Iconoclastic, conversational, and full of insight, Why I Read will delight avid readers as well as neophytes in search of sheer literary fun.

REVIEWS

Praise for Why I Read

“Everywhere in Why I Read lie ribbons of literary wisdom . . . Lesser argues for the Great Books in words that might be engraved in granite.”William Giraldi, The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

“Joyfully literary . . . [Lesser is] a delight.”The Buffalo News (Editors' Choice)

“We finish reading Lesser enlarged by the delights and rewards of her prose, enriched by her insights, and with an expansive sense of possibility.”Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe

"Reading Why I Read delivers all the pleasure of discussing one's favorite books with a marvelously articulate, intelligent, opinionated friend. It's like joining the book club of your dreams."—Francine Prose

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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ONE


CHARACTER AND PLOT

I had meant to keep these two things separate. I intended to start with a chapter about character and then move on, in the next chapter, to plot, since that is pretty much the order in which I choose...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Wendy Lesser

  • Wendy Lesser is the founder and editor of The Threepenny Review, which Adam Zagajewski has called "one of the most original literary magazines not only in the U.S. but also on the entire planet." She is the author of eight previous books of nonfiction and one novel. Her most recent book is the prizewinning Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and His Fifteen String Quartets. She has written for The New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and other publications. She divides her time between Berkeley, California, and New York City.

  • Wendy Lesser © Richard Rizzo
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