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The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself) (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
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More About the Author
Carol is also the author of a middle-grade/young adult children's novel, EDDIE'S WAR (Kirkus Review Best Book of 2011, 2012 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, and 2014-2015 nominee for the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award). Visit the EDDIE'S WAR website at http://www.carolsaller.com/.
Top Customer Reviews
Reviewed by C.J.Singh
While teaching courses in editing at UC Berkeley extension, I always assigned The Chicago Manual of Style and Richard Lanham's Revising Prose (5th Edition) for the introductory course. For the advanced course, we studied Joseph Williams's Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (ninth edition) . As noted in my detailed reviews of the two latter books, most students found them excellent. I'm sure they'd be just as enthusiastic about "The Subversive Editor" by Carol Fisher Saller. In fact, I'd place this book near the top of the reading list for anyone interested in learning how to edit. Saller, a senior mansucript editor at the University of Chicago Press, also edits "The Chicago Manual of Style Online's Q&A." Written with charming wit, her brief book presents numerous tips. For several samples from the book, please read on.
Introducing her book, Saller writes: "Although people outside the Press address us `Dear style goddesses' and assume we are experts on everything in the `Manual,' most of the time I feel more like the pathetic little person behind the curtain in `The Wizard of Oz.' It's only because I'm surrounded and protected by knowledgeable and generous coworkers that I can assemble the authoritative front that appears in the Q&A" (p. xi).
From the Q&A: "Q/ Oh, English-language gurus, is it ever proper to put a question mark and an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence in formal writing?" (p. 31).Read more ›
The Subversive Copy Editor is divided into two sections: one on dealing with the writer and working on behalf of the reader, and the other on working with colleagues. Saller's advice, generally, is to take a common-sense and courteous approach to dealing with anyone and everyone. Her insight into the dynamics of the copy editor's working relationships is probably the most valuable part of the book.
Much of the book seems geared toward new editors, and there's a lot of basic, getting-started information here. On the whole, though, it isn't very subversive - unless remaining calm and not killing yourself stressing out over minutiae is subversive.
Saller's writing style is light and clever, and it makes this book generally enjoyable to read. Saller is also quick to discuss her own mistakes, which certainly helps the reader relate. Even if much of what she has to say isn't profound, it's nice to hear it from somebody who's experienced and credible.
This is quite a short book, but the pace feels a little too leisurely at times, particularly as Saller seems to try to hit a number of disparate targets. Not everything in the book is for every copy editor, and few if any editors will find every chapter relevant or helpful. That said, though, most any editor can get something out of this book.
There's nothing particularly groundbreaking here, but if you're looking for an easy, common-sense book on copy editing, The Subversive Copy Editor is a winner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book talked me down off the ledge. I have worked for years in an environment where perfection is an event and your primary professional goal is to be more perfect than the... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Tmd
Anyone who writes for a living or who loves to write... a must read. Insightful and very helpful about this not-often-discussed profession.Published 4 months ago by Michael John
This was the required textbook for the first course in my Editing program. And it's a really good book, with lots of great information about copyediting practices, particularly the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by W. Barron
One of the best books out on the art of editing and working with writers.Published 8 months ago by Neil Fein
I bought this book for one of my college textbook production editors. At his annual review it became clear that he had some editing issues. Read morePublished 10 months ago by GingerH
A must-have companion if you do copy editing and if you're an author.Published 11 months ago by Elizabeth J.
This is a good, helpful book, but the print is small. For those of us who spend our lives editing copy, larger print is easier on the eyes. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
I couldn't appreciate this book more if I tried. As a professional editor, this book has helped me a lot in how I approach my work. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jessica M