From Publishers Weekly
As host of "Off the Page," a literary chat program on Washingtonpost.com, Burns has interviewed more than 40 authors-from Pulitzer Prize winners Edward P. Jones and Richard Ford to newcomers Doreen Baingana and Hannah Tinti-and here she collects those Q&A moments "when I knew I was hearing something extraordinary," including A.S. Byatt noting that she sees her writing in blocks of color and Martin Amis referring to himself as a "yob." Burns organizes her bon mots into 16 highly readable chapters, each covering a different aspect of fiction writing: beginnings, characters, influences, language and style, novels vs. short stories, sex scenes, revision, fact vs. fiction, critics, muses and endings. Most authors speak eloquently, more like prose writing than casual conversation, with only an occasional dash of high-brow condescension. Readers will surely find familiar names among the 43 writers contributing, many of whom refer to their own best-loved works (though a dash of humility from the likes of Paul Auster-"I would never tell anyone to read my books"-is much appreciated). Author biographies, including each writer's own favorite quote about writing, round out this treat for avid readers and writers.
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A thoroughly enjoyable collection....Addictive reading for beginning to established writers or anyone interested in how writers think . -- Betsy Lerner, author of The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers
Anyone who thinks all writers dip from the same stewpot should read Carole Burns' Off the Page
. -- C. Michael Curtis, Senior Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
In a field crowded with dull and disappointing books, Off the Page
is a joy to read and to re-read. -- John Dufresne , author of The Lie That Tells the Truth
It is fascinating and continually and delightfully surprising to open the book...and suddenly feel enlightened and inspired. -- Lee Gutkind, editor of Best Creative Nonfiction