From Publishers Weekly
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"We expected to give it a glance and put it down, but instead we were captivated..." -- Arizona Republic
"gives you voyeuristic glimpses" -- Black Book
HOW I WRITE is going to appeal less to writers than it is to design freaks, because, like a book in the hands of Chip Kidd -it's an exceedingly well-designed tome for your coffee table, playful with typography and smart with the art, whether drawn or photographed. You can read it if you want to, but you'll be blown away by Vince Frost's design job -- Bookgasm.com
How I Write edited by Dan Crowe (Rizzoli) 192 pages Jonathan Franzen uses a squeaky, battered green office chair. Will Self uses Post-it notes. Douglas Coupland uses chocolate. Jay McInerney uses an axe. What for, you ask? To write. That's right: to write. And that's what this charming book is all about. Not why these people write, but how. It's about their habits and, more importantly, their talismans. Where do they get their inspiration? Their ideas? How do they keep those ideas organized? Imagine walking into the office of Joyce Carol Oates or A.S. Byatt, and you'd see portraits in the office of the former, a cabinet of curiosities in the latter. Written in short bursts of chapters by the authors themselves, the book comes across almost as a confessional, a "come in and see what I'm all about" sort of thing. It's embarrassingly addictive and impossible to put down. Movie stars. TV stars. Sports stars. Just about any early evening entertainment news program will tell you everything you need to know. But authors? Nah. To what they're really all about, you need this terrific book. Give it to someone you know who is as addicted to Nicholson Baker and Melissa Bank as others are to Brad and Angelina. -- Tony Buchsbaum -- January Magazine, December 3, 2007
That's why books like How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors tend[s] to ...appeal to the literary voyeur in all of us..." (with images form the book) -- Chicago Sun-Times
What makes this book so interesting? Crowe asked well-known writers to submit descriptions of the "object, picture or document inyour study (that) reveals most about the relationship between living and writing." Sounds gimmicky at best. We expected to give it a glance and put it down, but instead we were captivated, and we've figured out why: The texxt in the book was written by competitive, creative people who really know how to tell a story. JOnathan Franzen sent a paragraph about his old office chair, which seems to be made primarily of duct tape. Melissa Bank sent a New York Times photograph of a blindfolded rhinoceros being-lifted from floodwaters. It captures, she said, "the ungainly struggle, the possibility of rescue, the blind faith writing requires." Douglas Coupland offered a scintillating essay on chocolate as a cure for writer's block. Other contributors include Jane Smiley, A.S. Byatt, Will Self, ZZ Packer, Tom Robbins and David Guterson.
-The Arizona Republic -- The Ledger, Lakeland FL. June 24th, 2007
on themorningnews.org "...lighthearted and visually exciting romp through the cornfield of literature..." -- Identitytheory.com