Praise for the Story About The Story series
"More than just a beautiful read . . . .The series is in its own way important to the world. Because if there’s any justice out there, it’ll eventually find its way into those dull high-school curricula.
To counteract the joyless misreadings and picking of scabs that have become today’s literary criticism, Hallman is collecting writing about books that is every bit as personal, humane and emotionally rich as the books themselves."
The Willamette Week
"The problem with this book: too many irresistible things.”
James Salter, author of A Sport and a Pastime
"All great criticism begins with love. After all, we read books not from obligation but for pleasure, for mental excitement, for what A.E. Housman called the tingle at the back of the neck. In The Story About the Story there are no merely literary essays: Instead J.C. Hallman has gathered love letters, exuberant appreciations, confessions of envy and admiration. In these pages some of our finest writers stand up and testify to the power of literature to shake and shape our very souls."
Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of Bound to Please
"An invaluable guide for any reader of literature, as well as for the practitioners themselves."
Daniel Halpern; editor of The Art of the Story
“There is no better path to the heart of a great writer’s expression than keen intuition born of deep regard, and no one more likely to have both than a fellow writer. This collection of master reader-writers appraising their admirations is not in the least predictable. Turn the pages: surprise, surprise, surprise!”
Sven Birkerts, author of Reading Life: Books for the Ages and The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age
“A novel, yes. A film, yes. But when have you ever been sorry for a book of essays to end? I was with this book. Each of these essays investigates good writing by writing well about it. They are all formally elegant and smart, smart, smart. And a delight to read.”
Mary Jo Bang, author of Elegy
"If you love literature, don' borrow The Story About the Story, because you'll never give it back. Buy it."