May 2014 Guest Editor Daisy Goodwin on Reading Like a Writer and How Not to Write a Novel... I came to writing fiction in my forties and plunged in with more enthusiasm than skill. I think the best training for writing is really careful reading of books you admire. There are lots of books for aspiring writers out there, but How Not to Write a Novel is the most amusing and is wonderfully entertaining read even if the only thing you are planning to write is a shopping list. A more serious book for would -be writers is How to Read Like a Writer by Francine Prose which is the best guide to practical criticism I have ever read. Would be a great thing to read at a book group.
In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humour and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart - to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; to look to John le Carre for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue and to Flannery O'Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail; to be inspired by Emily Bronte's structural nuance and Charles Dickens's deceptively simple narrative techniques. Most importantly, Prose cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted, and reminds us that good writing comes out of good reading.
'For everyone studying English literature this book should be required reading; it is a wonderful explanation of how writers build their books from the words upwards.' -- Daisy Goodwin The Sunday Times
'a clarion call for aspiring writers to do that most simple, time-consuming but enjoyable thing: their homework ...Prose's forthright, waspish and often very funny book is a plea to all writers for vigour and clarity, one which encourages them to tend to the details of technique, and the mastery of language, as closely as they tend to their own ambition.' -- Louise Doughty The Observer
'astute and enthusiastic commentary for writers and readers'
Times Literary Supplement
'a volume that shows how to judge a book not by its cover, or even by its subject matter, but by the quality of its writing'
Culture, The Sunday Times
'an essential book for any writer...who purports to take his or herself remotely seriously'
The New Review, Observer
'Delightful and edifying...a fabulous book I intend to keep permanently to hand'
'informative and inspiring'
Good Book Guide
Publication date: 31/05/2012
Publisher: Union Books
|Publication date:||31st May 2012|
|Genres:||The Real World,|
|Categories:||Creative writing & creative writing guides, Literary studies: general,|
Francine Prose is the author of fourteen works of fiction, including Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award, and of the non-fiction writing guide, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, published by Aurum. A distinguished critic and essayist, she has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at several major universities. She lives in New York City.More About Francine Prose