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Tell It Slant, 2nd Edition Paperback – March 2, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0071781770 ISBN-10: 0071781773 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (March 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071781773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071781770
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

More About the Author

Brenda Miller is the author of Listening Against the Stone (Skinner House Books, 2011), Blessing of the Animals (EWU Press, 2009), Season of the Body (Sarabande Books, 2002), and co-author of Tell it Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction (McGraw-Hill, 2003). Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes. She is a Professor of English at Western Washington University and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Bellingham Review.

Customer Reviews

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A must have for any creative nonfiction writer.
Suzanne McCleary
I'm just beginning to write and didn't know how to get started but this book gets my creative juices flowing!
Peggy Coble
The exercises are thought provoking and very helpful!
Lorrie White

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By WritingTeach on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola have made a good thing even better! This second edition of Tell It Slant (a nod to Emily Dickinson)is updated just enough to make it ready for use for 2012 and beyond without losing the charm and power of the first edition. This text would work in a Creative Writing course OR a Freshman Composition course. In fact, I might propose a new course at our college and use this text for it: Creative Non-Fiction 101! I highly recommend this book for inspiring your own writing, and/or that of your students.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Diane Halsted on April 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the whole this book is valuable to teachers and writers of creative nonfiction. I have used it for a class in memoir.

Several problems in chapter 13, "The Basics of Good Writing in Any Form," should be brought to the attention of buyers. Sentences that begin the section headed "The Rhythm of Your Sentences" are not all simple sentences as the authors proclaim. In fact, half are complex sentences. Later, what is the imperative is identified as the vocative or command voice. The vocative is a case, not a voice. It has nothing to do with command. Still later a prepositional phrase ("into this world") is identified as a clause that modifies a noun where it clearly modifies the verb, fall. In short, the points the authors seek to make about writing are incorrectly explained and identified.

These elementary errors are significant in a book that may be considered for a textbook for a college class. Not every writer needs to know grammar cold, but every author needs an editor to find grammatical problems and correct them. Someone left a job undone here. My students learned by negative example.

And where the sample essay entitled "A Braided Heart" is excellent and a superb example useful to a teacher or a writer, "The Hazing of Swans" cries for focus and editing. It is clear to observant students and teacher that two authors wrote this book, working as individuals and not as a team.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rosina on August 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tell It Slant is really the best of the books available on creative non-fiction. Thoughtful, thorough and useful (a rare combination) and unhampered by the authors' egos (also unusual and very welcome)- it's the place to start if cnf is new for you, and it's also the book that will remind you what you set out to do when you get lost along the way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne McCleary on March 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished Tell it Slant and am so excited to apply the concepts and tips to the book I am writing about my immigrant grandparents' odyssey to America in 1930. Ms. Paola was my professor in the 1990s and I was happy to see some of the advice and examples from literature that I remember from her courses then and so, so much more. A must have for any creative nonfiction writer.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Bristow on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that this book is very well-written and an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to embark on the daunting task of becoming a writer/recorder of events. Its premise of "look for a viewpoint" from which to launch the story is something many published authors fail to do -- usually making a good story into a bad book. I am about to start a blog and associated website of a recently deceased artist/relative to "tell her story". I even had "a plan". Having read 'Tell It Slant' I scratched "the plan" as there was no frame of reference or common theme and direction. This book with make my project better.

The only weakness in this book is the Try It section at the close of each chapter. I found them needing an increased breadth of scope -- narrowly targeted to an intermediate writer. I felt the authors could have included even one or two "novice" level try its or even one or two expert level ones, this would have been a 5-star work for me.

Tell It Slant has MUCH to recommend it--a very worthwhile read. Buyer/reader beware: this book can change the way you write if you are willing to put in the practical work. I have found it also changes my experience in READING biographical and event reporting works as I now notice a distinctive viewpoint or lack thereof.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jadelin5 on April 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
you get the basics of what creative non-fiction is. But not how to create a well constructed piece of work. I found myself trying to keep my eyes open as it drones trying to appear interesting. If you are looking for a path to well done work, I would go else where. If you just need to know the nuts and bolt of what creative non fiction is, then buy this book... or a dictionary.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Writing Reader on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have two personas (and thus two reviews?) through which I read Tell It Slant (TIS): the first is as a former student (once a poet, now a would-be novelist), a woman who relishes the rare opportunity to revisit the classrooms of her two beloved professors through this beautiful book. The second lens is that of a composition theorist and professor of writing-- an English 101 teacher with a passion for the role of creative nonfiction in the first year composition (FYC) classroom.

A textbook is an embodiment, in words, of a teacher's pedagogy-- how I love that word!-- the how and why and what-- the STUFF-- of her teaching. Both of these women are exceptional teachers. Their prompts and feedback pushed me beyond the tidy and controlled writing I had been doing as an undergraduate and, through their detailed explorations of what an essay COULD be (the root of the word essay is the French word essai, which means "to attempt"), both women encouraged me to explore new ways of making essays.

In The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing, Richard Hugo writes that while a young writer will learn all that she needs to know by simply writing, a good teacher can save her about ten years.

While it has been just over ten years since my physical person occupied the spaces of Suzanne and Brenda's graduate Creative Nonfiction (CNF) workshops (not to mention the hours I spent in their offices!), key moments play (and re-play) in my head.
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