To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Writer's Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction Paperback – June 7, 2007
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
More About the Author
"The Voice of Books on National Public Radio"--that's how novelist, essayist and story writer Alan Cheuse has been described. For over twenty-five years, Cheuse has been "reading for America" every week on NPR, and he's also been writing a number of books of his own, and teaching the art of narrative and literature at George Mason University for over twenty years.
He is the author of the novels The Bohemians, The Grandmothers' Club and The Light Possessed. His latest novel, To Catch the Lightning (winner of the 2009 Grub Street Prize for Fiction), follows the career of turn of the century photographer Edward S. Curtis and his quest to photograph the western tribes of North America. He is also the author of several collections of short fiction and a pair of novellas published under the title The Fires. He is the co-editor with Nicholas Delbanco of Talking Horse: Bernard Malamud on Life and Art, and co-author with Delbanco of Literature: Craft & Voice, a major newly published introduction to college literary study, and also the co-editor of Writers Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction, and editor of Listening to Ourselves: Great American Short Fiction.
Cheuse's essays, short stories, and reviews have appeared in numerous places, such as The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, World Literature Today, The Antioch Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and other venues. His essay collection, Listening to the Page, appeared in 2001. His collected travel essays came out in June 2009 under the title A Trance After Breakfast.
Top Customer Reviews
There was one exception. Janet Fitch's essay, "Coming to Your Senses" was an outrageously practical essay on how to use unique verbs to describe ordinary perceptions. For example, Fitch writes: "A girl has moist skin, a literal description. If we like her, we can describe it as dewy, slick, glossy. If we don't, it's greasy, sweaty, oily." Fitch's essay is packed with practical technique like this.
The other essays, unfortunately, were more general in nature. A few talked about scene, plot, point of view, but often in generalities and using arcane examples.
Some of the essays were transcribed from actual talks. They read well, but it seems like you had to be there to get the overall effect.
I recommend Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing and Stephen King's On Writing for a more practical approach to learning fiction.
All in all, not a bad book, but I was hoping for something more pragmatic.
For the first time, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers shares the wisdom of some of its contemporary staff members. Edited by Lisa Alvarez and Alan Cheuse with an introduction from Richard Ford, Writers Workshop in a Book (Chronicle Books) includes essays on many aspects of fiction writing from eighteen well-published authors. Regardless of whether reading this book will inspire a beginning writer to commence or finish a full-length manuscript, it is a fine and truly entertaining addition to the ever-growing bookshelf of "how to" tomes.
In the first essay, "How to Write a Novel," Diane Johnson informs us that "most people in their lives think at one time or another of writing" a novel. Indeed, she read somewhere that "90 percent of college-educated women, at one stage or another of their lives, actually begin one." Of course, very few actually get around to writing a novel because there are many obstacles including the fact that "it's an awful lot of work." But if you are willing to put in the time, Johnson offers very practical threshold decisions you must make before moving forward: "First you have to plan it. What will happen in it? Who will tell it?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book years ago, and I don't even remember buying it. I know I got it for a class, but I don't remember using it. I guess it just didn't make a very strong impression.Published 22 months ago by Leslie Soule
This is a good collection of essays written by published writers. The essays provide advice and tips to assist the writer in a variety of areas.Published on May 24, 2011 by M J Henry