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Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 1999
don't buy it if you're looking for guidance on writing-there is very little about craft here but there are some excellent examples of different types narratives and they're grouped in an interesting way. One section, for example, has stories that retell fairy tales, bible stories etc. using modern story lines. Other sections cover such genres as dramatic monologues, miniature narratives and memoir. Useful if your looking for positive examples, but be prepared to draw your own conclusions.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 1998
Joyce Carol Oates combines the best of classic literature by Kafka and Faulkner with contemporary works by Garcia Marquez and King. Each story and poem exemplifies a writing technique or strategy. An example being the two versions of James Joyce's short story "Sister;" the first his original draft and the second a revision. "Telling Stories" is a wonderful anthology for anyone wishing to broaden their knowledge of literature from Homer to today.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2001
If you are looking to take a writing class, save your dollars and buy this book, read your eyeballs out, and turn yourself loose on the personal style you are going to be so amazingly aware of... A ton of great reccommendations, and as always she writes with an ease and flow that is bewildering...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2000
I've used this text for my Writing Fiction 281 class, and it's fantastic! I especially like the "flash fiction" section in the beginning. If you're looking for a reader that includes cannonized authors as well as fresh young voices, this is a solid choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Having introduced people younger than I to some great literature for a living, while never having written a short story, seemed ironic at the very least while I was teaching. After retirement and at least setting into motion the various things a guy must in order to survive on the leavings of a teaching salary, I find my professional focus and omissions an opportunity! Who could have guessed. We do get second chances. Ain't life wonderful?

Joyce Carol Oates' TELING STORIES: AN ANTHOLOGY FOR WRITERS offers me treasures I suspect I would have missed, had I been busy learning to walk around in short stories and figure out the neighborhood. I sort of know that geography in a Google-maps kind of way. Miss Oates' book gives me smaller areas -- backyards and beach houses and apartments with real, impolite, nonVictorian people in them -- to consider as I also think about things that a story teller has to learn to do. For instance, I wanted to build conflict in a story with a first-person narrator that seemed to be developing okay, but I have been writing description for so many years that I had no inkling of how to go about that feat.

Miss Oates didn't tell me how, thank goodness. She included a story that works because of gradually and needlessly increasingly anger, hence, brutality, caused by its first-person narrator. Although I didn't imitate the story in TELLING STORIES, I did read it carefully and recall another story that worked because its protagonist also could not control his anger. Then I set about imagining scenes for my story as I wrote them. I think it worked out. At any rate, it is the closest thing to a real short story, rather than a memory from childhood used as a springboard, or some such enjoyable semi biographical piece.

I heartily recommend the book for people who truly want to develop their imagination while they read closely as a prelude to reading more widely and writing and rewriting.
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on July 6, 2014
I used this book as a textbook for my Creative Writing II class. It's a great book for writers in all walks of life and in all phases of their writing careers.
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on August 6, 2014
If you love Joyce Carol Oates, this anthology is selected by her along with a few of her own writing. Excellent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2014
This is one of the most exciting poetry books I have ever read. Thanks to the class at Lone Star College I have a new found love, reading and understa ding poetry.
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