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What It Is Hardcover – May 13, 2008
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From School Library Journal
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"Barry is, underneath the wonky handwriting and the quirky, naive drawings, a great memoirist . . . Like [Tobias] Wolff and [Dave] Eggers, she finds a tone that accommodates self-criticism and self-irony without tipping over into self-loathing . . . but what she is particularly good at is resonance." --"The New York Times
" "Barry is not just a storyteller, she's an evangelist who urges people to pick up a pen--or a brush . . . and look at their own lives with fresh, forgiving eyes." --"San Francisco Chronicle
" "America's leading cartoon artist of childhood angst . . . The precise rightness of Barry's smallest observation puts TV's "The Wonder Years" to shame." --"Entertainment Weekly
Praise for Lynda Barry:
“Barry is, underneath the wonky handwriting and the quirky, naïve drawings, a great memoirist . . . Like [Tobias] Wolff and [Dave] Eggers, she finds a tone that accommodates self-criticism and self-irony without tipping over into self-loathing . . . but what she is particularly good at is resonance.” —"The New York Times
" “Barry is not just a storyteller, she’s an evangelist who urges people to pick up a pen—or a brush . . . and look at their own lives with fresh, forgiving eyes.” —"San Francisco Chronicle
" “America’s leading cartoon artist of childhood angst . . . The precise rightness of Barry’s smallest observation puts TV’s "The Wonder Years" to shame.” —"Entertainment Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
So I bought it, and what I found out is that I had been missing out on something wonderful!!
I couldn't be more happy that I bought this book! First of all this book surprised me in that it is nicely sized 8.5 x 11 (approx) and it's much THICKER than I had imaged it, and it's HARDCOVER.(I was expecting a soft cover magazine type book)So, after I admired the outside, and opened it up, I was even more impressed and excited with what I found!! Yes, I thought I was in comic book/collage/art journal/writing prompt heaven!! With so much to look at, I just about wore myself out trying to look at/read everything. -Which is also a nice thing about this book, I am highly doubting that you'd run out of things to look at or read here.
This is kinda like looking at one of your school friends notebook, or journal, except SO MUCH BETTER! There are comic book pictures, random thoughts, journal prompts, drawings, ideas, etc, etc, etc. This is an awesome and inspiring book. This tops the list of coolest books that I own!!
The book has a front section that is sort of an artistic, stream of consciousness, diaristic account of Lynda Barry's own creative life. Followed by a workbook, which I didn't have any specific expectations about, but I was sitting there following the steps, and it was pretty amazing how effective the method Barry advocates is. It took me off guard, and I think I am going to use it next week in the class I teach.
Overall this book ranks somewhere around the best books I have ever read because it sort of snuck up on me, and made realize some stuff about myself and my creative process that I may have resisted in a less charismatic presentation.
Every page is beautiful, every page contains insights into creativity, every page is just plain fun (or just scary fun), and it has everything you need to apply the writing method Lynda uses in your own work.
You really can write out of your own memories, and come up with something that isn't drivel. Get the book and try it. And join Lynda in tipping your hat to Marilyn Frasca, who originated the method.
I have long been a Lynda Barry fan, but this is what a sense will be an essential reference book for any creative type. It bores down into just what makes one want to create and suggests exercises and steps to get whatever festers inside you out.
To say that it has prompted me to fine tune my and understand my writing in much more depth would be an understatement. It also has gotten my to pick up my pencil and draw/sketch for the 1st time in over 15 years.
I am pretty sure i will be constantly reading and rereading this as i further hone the creation craft.
if you crave creation in any form, this book is a must.
and will doubtless serve many artists and writers as they explore their lives and the lives of others. An exercise as simple as try to recall the earliest phone number you had and try to picture that phone seem so simple, but take you to places that you'd long forgotten.
Like everything by Barry, it's humane and masterful and compassionate and smart. A wonderful addition to any artist's desk.
This is a great book for anyone who's ever felt stuck writing or drawing (or just in the creative process). Barry's collage work in the first half of the book gets you to ask yourself questions about imagery and memory. The second half has writing exercises and tips for how to make more for yourself. They're excellent and I can't wait to start using them. It's also probably the only time I'll ever cry over instructions for a writing exercise.
If there's anything that takes away from the book, it's that I wanted to see more about Barry's life. The short passages about her childhood and education are very interesting, but take up only a small portion of the book. It's somewhat depressing to hear that her comics became such a source of concern/depression for her, but I can understand that feeling of it becoming work and the pressure to only make "good" art. And I love her moments where she's talking with her husband and thinking of all the stuff she forgets, but goes over conversation she had years ago where she said awful things.
Okay, that's my awkward ending... go read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Need inspiration and tips to unblock your journaling? Buy this book!Published 10 days ago by Judith Paley
Get this book to see all the possibilities for combining drawing and writing to develop and express ideas. Lynda Barry uses them synergistically.Published 3 months ago by Joyce Munro
Inspiration for any writer, teacher, or student of the WORLD! You can plow through the exercises or just sort through the stories and life experiences that Barry shares with her... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Elizabeth O Mansfield
I purchased this for a writing class I'm taking, that is, sadly, just as disappointing as this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Thuri Calafia
This is an inspiring book for artists and writing. Lots of instruction, inspiration, well thought out and set out to lead you into getting over a lack of inspiration.Published 8 months ago by fit & fab
Just started this book. I love Ms. Barry's work. This and her other book,Syllabus, are both great and have given me many hours of fun and purpose.Published 10 months ago by pat hagedorn