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Don Quixote Meets the Mob: The Craft of Fiction and the Art of Life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2000

    Attention Writers: This One's A Keeper

    Susan Taylor Chehak has written a remarkable book which, as its subtitle suggests, is really about two subjects: the craft of fiction and the art of life. As a writer, I have started (but not finished) dozens of ¿how to¿ books on the craft of writing fiction. I usually nod off around the chapter on ¿point of view,¿ and seldom make it to the all important discussion on ¿revising your work.¿ But I read Chehak¿s book from cover to cover in just a few sittings. As a book on the ¿writing craft¿ it covers all the usual subjects. What sets it apart and makes it so engaging is Chehak¿s exceptional ability as a storyteller. Her conversational style is so convincing, you feel as though you¿re sitting around her kitchen table, drinking coffee, while she tells you, all wide eyed, the most improbable or outlandish thing that happened to her (or her family or friends)just last week. These stories, it turns out, are for the most part not really true. Or are they? At the core of this book is Chehak¿s fascination with ¿the peculiar relationship that seems to exist between fiction and reality.¿ Using her stories as examples, and drawing on a rich source of literature, philosophy, and writing gurus, Chehak takes us on an exploration of her underlying theme: that it is not always easy to separate fact from fiction. Whether you are interested in the writing craft, or the art of life, this is a book that sings with originality.

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