Lucky Break: How I Became A Writer

Overview

In Lucky Break, Howard Junker introduces you to nineteen contemporary authors who describe their struggles-and good fortune-in transforming themselves into writers. For some, the idea of being a writer seemed to run in the family. For others, writing was a way of breaking with their families; for still others, writing was the only way to find their own voice, to preserve what is uniquely theirs.

Collected from the pages of ZYZZYVA, the West Coast literary journal, these are very...

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Overview

In Lucky Break, Howard Junker introduces you to nineteen contemporary authors who describe their struggles-and good fortune-in transforming themselves into writers. For some, the idea of being a writer seemed to run in the family. For others, writing was a way of breaking with their families; for still others, writing was the only way to find their own voice, to preserve what is uniquely theirs.

Collected from the pages of ZYZZYVA, the West Coast literary journal, these are very personal essays in which, nevertheless, other writers will discover something of their own stories and journeys. Among the authors featured in Lucky Break are Sheila Ballantyne, Opal Palmer Adisa, Philip Levine, Jewelle Gomez, Justin Chin, David Rains Wallace, and Sallie Tisdale.

Becoming a writer is a mysterious, momentous process. The writers in this collection suggest that beyond talent and hard work (and a lucky break), there is more hard work-the task of "being" a writer. They offer accounts not of the craft of writing, but of the many strands that must be woven together to create an identity as a writer.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of personal, autobiographical essays was originally published in the literary journal ZYZZYVA. Chosen by Junker, the journal's editor, the 19 essays tackle why and how a person becomes a writer, with an emphasis on the emotional and psychological aspects of that journey. The quality of the essays varies. Some, such as Opal Palmer Adisa's "Lying in the Tall Grasses, Eating Cane," sparkle; others reveal little about the author's motivations. Not an essential purchase, this is best for larger libraries with a concentration on writers and writing. Fooling with Words (LJ 9/15/99), edited by Bill Moyers, more fully captures the mix of passion and discipline that create a writer.--Shana C. Fair, Ohio Univ. Lib., Zanesville Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325001562
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.91 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Junker is the founding editor of ZYZZYVA. The editor of three previous books, he has contributed to Newsweek, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and other major magazines. Junker lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Howard Junker

Opal Palmer Adisa: Lying in the Tall Grases, Eating Cane

Sheila Ballantyne: Thank You, Leonard Wolf

Bill Berkson: A Beginner

Jon Billman: Infernos to Battle

Justin Chin: What I Hid & What Was Found

Blair Fuller: Dubious Quest

Jewelle Gomez: Somebody Almost Walked off wid all My Stuff

Forrest Hamer: The Visitor

Adam Hochschild: Finding the Trap Door

Ginu Kamani: Putting Aside My Fears

Dorianne Laux: Girl Poet

Philip Levine: The Shadow of the Big Madrone

David Wong Louie: Saddle

Aleida Rodriguez: Walking

Kay Ryan: Do You Like It?

Octavio Solis: English, My Ally

Sallie Tisdale: Wolves

David Rains Wallace: Advocating Landscape

Peter Booth Wiley: Printer's Ink in My Veins

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