Since 1969, the prestigious Squaw Valley Community of Writers has helped develop the art and craft of many who are now household names. Instructors such as Michael Chabon, Mark Childress, Diane Johnson, Anne Lamott, Robert Stone, and Amy Tan have distilled their advice and wisdom from seminars and lectures, and the result is a book that captures the workshop experience of completesubmersion in the writing process. With an introduction by novelist and short story master Richard Ford, himself a conference attendee in the 1970s, this volume gives the writer and dedicated reader a jolt of inspiration, sharp insight into matters of technique, and a feeling of camaraderie with a writing community.
|Publisher:||Chronicle Books LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Richard Ford, a novelist and short story writer, is best known for a trilogy of prize-winning books featuring Frank Bascombe, a middle-aged Everyman from suburban New Jersey. Independence Day, the second Bascombe novel, won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen Faulkner Award. Canada, a more recent bestseller that inhabits the consciousness of a fragile teenager after his family implodes, is another quiet masterpiece from one of America’s most acclaimed writers.
Date of Birth:February 16, 1944
Place of Birth:Jackson, Mississippi
Education:B.A., Michigan State University, 1966; M.F.A., University of California, Irvine, 1970
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is not a particularly good collection of writing advice. Yes, there are big names. Yes it comes from a relatively prestigious writers¿ workshop. No, it doesn¿t add much to what you probably already know. In fact, if this is what the contents of this particular workshop are like, then the success is in spite of the content.Writing advice is only as useful as the personal serendipity you get from it. Someone may say to you, ¿just start writing gooder sentences¿, and it may be your road to Damascus moment. But that doesn¿t mean everyone else wants (or needs) to hear it. I have come across books that do a decent job of sharing ideas on how to write without becoming too mundane (and, in the process, be very entertaining.) Just to mention a couple ¿ Thomas Mallon¿s In Fact, Essays on Writing and Writers; Robin Wilson¿s Paragons: Twelve Master Science Fiction Writers Ply Their Craft; and my absolute favorite, Kate Willhelm¿s Storyteller Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers Workshop. None are perfect, but each managed to evoke in me the desire to do more writing.Such is not the case with this book. The advice feels as if it has come from a high school creative writing class, and there are too many self-evaluative moments from the writers. (For example, why did I have to read two different people¿s versions of moving from a first novel mega-success to struggling to write a second novel, and two other descriptions of writing novels that went nowhere?) There are a couple of interesting anecdotes and, since they are all successful writers, they all do a decent job of writing their own piece. But there is really not enough here to warrant the time. (Particularly if the time spent could have been spent working on your writing. You will have learned more from writing badly than from reading these essays.)