Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

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Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them Ben M.
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Product Description

Long before creative writing programs and graduate degrees taught the finer points in composing fiction, writers looked to the enduring works of authors such as Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Kafka to supply the raw material out of which literature is crafted. In 'Reading Like a Writer,' Francine Prose discusses a handful of classics and how close reading of these works can offer insight into the tools and the tricks of the masters. Marvel at the serpentine sentences of Philip Roth, the masterful use of dialogue to advance plot by John Le Carre, and how enduring literature can inspire readers to look at the world with a fresh eye. 273p.

Editorial Reviews

Prose, known for her novels (e.g., Blue Angel ), as well as her nonfiction (e.g., Caravaggio:Painter of Miracles ), presents a short volume that serves as literary criticism, as a writing guide, and as an ode to the value of careful reading. Prose devotes a chapter each to eight elements of writing: words, sentences, paragraphs, narration, character, dialog, details, and gesture. These chapters are framed by an opening piece that urges close reading as most productive for writers; a chapter devoted to Chekhov, particularly his short stories, as translated by Constance Garnett; and a closing chapter, "Reading for Courage." Throughout, Prose focuses on what makes great fiction, mixing personal narrative with plentiful quotations from her favored writers, including both the big names generally encountered in such books (Joyce, Woolf, Mansfield, Flannery O'Connor, Melville, Austen, Paul Bowles, and Raymond Carver) and writers like Tatyana Tolstaya, Paula Fox, and Rex Stout. As the title suggests, this book is likely to find its audience with readers who are also writers or who long to be. Those who simply "love books" but do not have interest in the excruciating process behind their creation will not find the same value here. As a result, this book may have a narrow audience but one that will find much to enjoy. Prose also includes a suggested reading list. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.--Stacey Brownlie, Lititz P.L., PA

[Page 78]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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