Gr 7 Up-A carefully organized look at both the professional and personal lives of female writers past and present. Beginning with general comments regarding her topic, Smith presents seven brief sketches of historical figures, such as Pearl S. Buck, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Gertrude Stein. Quotations from the authors' works preface most of these biographies. The following section, which makes up the bulk of the book, contains 22 interviews with contemporary writers, including Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Annie Dillard, Sue Grafton, and Bebe Moore Campbell. All of the women were first asked ``Why do you write?'' After the initial question, the interviews take individual courses. Some are much better than others, which accounts for the uneven quality of the book. Smith concludes with a brief section that offers instruction and advice for young women who aspire to write. This title is not meant to be an inclusive guide; it should be regarded as a glimpse at the experiences of the authors profiled and serves as a companion to their works.-Marilyn Makowski, Greenwood High School, SC
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
In Smith's second volume on this topic, she again provides brief biographies of earlier writers, such as Gertrude Stein, Pearl S. Buck, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and excerpts from actual interviews with 22 contemporary women who have achieved success across a full spectrum of writing. Susan Isaacs, Margaret Atwood, Denise Chavez, Sue Grafton, Fay Weldon, and Louise Erdrich are just a few of the diverse talents who address such questions as "Why do you write?" "Do you have any particular responsibility as a woman writer?" and "What is the most important advice you offer young writers?" As before, the biographies are too brief and matter-of-fact to give much of a sense of the passion that drove the earlier writers to success. The author's commentary on "You, the Writer" doesn't add anything to the information given in a much more inspirational way by the authors themselves. Still, Smith's conversational interview style will make the book extremely satisfying for aspiring writers, and these�20vignettes of life as a writer--the highs and the lows--should be helpful to young women and men alike as they make decisions about harnessing their own creativity.