Overview

Robert Clark Young has wanted to be a writer since he was in his teens. In this uproariously comic, prize-winning essay, Young satirizes the absurdity of literary ambition. Just how far will writers go for a shot at the big time?

Will they stalk Allen Ginsberg as he does his dry cleaning in Greenwich Village? Will they pretend to be interested in the mating habits of grizzly bears, just for the chance to hang out with Gary Snyder? Will they ...
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One Writer's Big Innings

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Overview

Robert Clark Young has wanted to be a writer since he was in his teens. In this uproariously comic, prize-winning essay, Young satirizes the absurdity of literary ambition. Just how far will writers go for a shot at the big time?

Will they stalk Allen Ginsberg as he does his dry cleaning in Greenwich Village? Will they pretend to be interested in the mating habits of grizzly bears, just for the chance to hang out with Gary Snyder? Will they learn to translate Russian obscenities in order to get close to poet Joseph Brodsky? Will they use a crowded bookstore appearance by Gore Vidal as an opportunity to shoplift books? Will they join the staffs of literary magazines just for the pleasure of writing rejection slips to the likes of W.P. Kinsella and Joyce Carol Oates? Will they finagle breakfast with Raymond Carver--and then be accused of killing him? Will they lampoon Chuck Kinder's "wonder boys," a decade before Michael Chabon did it? Will they jet off to Egypt to beg Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz for publishing contacts, even though he speaks no English? Will they send manuscripts and pleading letters to Donald Barthelme for years and years and years, and be upset never to hear anything back, unaware that the man is dead? Will they actually stoop to stealing clothing out of the back of Larry McMurtry's convertible? Will they clandestinely obtain Thomas Pynchon's driving record, including weight, height, eye color, and address, from the Department of Motor Vehicles?

Yes. Of course. Writers will do all of this. And more.

First published in the Black Warrior Review, "One Writer's Big Innings" was reprinted in the AWP Chronicle (now The Writer's Chronicle), nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and then awarded the Black Warrior Review's Best of the '90s Award for Nonfiction.

The essay, clocking in at 7,000 words, launched Young's literary career. In the twenty years since its appearance, he's published with HarperCollins, Penguin Books, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Press, and many of the leading literary journals in the United States.
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Editorial Reviews

Cindy Zelman
I will send a dollar to anyone who does not fall out of his or her chair laughing while reading Robert Clark Young's essay, "One Writer's Big Innings," about his quest to become a published, and hopefully, famous, author. You don't need to be a writer to fully appreciate the brilliance of the writing, the well-wrought story lines, and the hilarity of the cast of characters in his life. While a must-read for any aspiring writer, this is an essay for readers, meaning anyone who loves a good story
Faye Rapoport DesPres
I downloaded this essay to my Kindle having no idea what to expect, although I knew, because it was written by Robert Clark Young and had collected an impressive prize or two, that it would be something good. Oh, this essay was so much better than something good! Any writer who has ever crawled through the trenches of the literary world dodging such perpetual bullets as "We wish you better luck elsewhere" will feel the pain Young felt as an unpublished writer desperate to get noticed by anyone.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013894686
  • Publisher: Robert Clark Young
  • Publication date: 3/2/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 554,564
  • File size: 27 KB

Meet the Author

Robert Clark Young lives in San Diego, where he writes about many subjects, including eldercare. He has been the primary caregiver for his parents since 2008, when they both suffered serious strokes. All of the royalties from his essays and stories featured on the Nook go to keep his parents living in freedom and dignity in their own home.
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