- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Mentor: A Memoir Paperback – August 1, 2010
Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
Writer, teacher, and philanthropist, Tom Grimes, wrote this memoir about his friendship with Frank Conroy and his struggles with writing and publishing. Grimes opens his narrative in 1980's Key West, where he's striving to write publishable work while earning money as a waiter. After applying to the Iowa Writing Workshop MFA program, he heard Frank Conroy speak at a seminar in Florida. Later, he approached him offstage with enthusiastic questions about writing and the workshop. Conroy, who had recently become Director at Iowa, dismissed him. He ambled right past Tom to talk to a friend, waving him off that his chances of acceptance were slim to zip (in so many words). His confidence punctured, Tom went home to tear up--really, he gutted--Conroy's celebrated memoir, Stop-Time: A Memoir. He tossed it in the garbage and wiped his hands of Frank Conroy.
During the subsequent interval of furious emotions--getting rejected by various schools, being frustrated with his job--Tom received a phone call. It was from Conroy, who had no clue that he was speaking to someone he had snubbed. He wouldn't have even remembered the encounter.Read more ›
I similarly wondered why Grimes chose to portray himself in the jacket photo as grim-looking man who seems to have escaped from 19th century Russia.
I still have no idea why he made those choices.
For the first 210 pages, then, Grimes is someone I read only with morbid curiosity. In addition to all the other unsavory aspects of himself that he highlights, he is more than a little creepy. He also is angry at Conroy. This comes out in small bits, such as commenting twice on how much money Conroy charged him - first for living in his house and then for contributing an essay. He also notes that Conroy, despite his encouragement of Grimes, never provided the rigorous editing or critiques that Grimes needed. His anger leaks out but he seems unaware of it and never probes it.
I was annoyed with the unnecessary repetitions about writing and how writing made him feel. If he was going to talk about writing, I was hoping for something above the standard advice.Read more ›
In Mentor, Grimes gives readers a candid insider's view of the novelist's life, and in so doing he becomes, in my eyes, an extraordinary writer of nonfiction. His prose weds two remarkable writing lives, his own and that of his idol/teacher/mentor Frank Conroy, another novelist who wrote a great memoir.
After finishing Mentor I checked Publishers Weekly to see if Grimes received its "starred review" -- an anointing of industry approval that he had craved for his novels. I am delighted to see that Grimes finally got what he deserved.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've ever read about the work of writing--the anxiety, the loneliness, the constant questioning. Read morePublished on October 30, 2012 by ARL
A scrupulously honest memoir that does honor to a beloved teacher as well as to the craft he taught. Moving, but never mawkish. Read morePublished on February 11, 2012 by Jonathan B. Siegel
There is some beautiful writing in this book, which was what kept me reading as long as I did. But by page 100, I was doing some serious skimming, and by page 175 I had to stop. Read morePublished on July 12, 2011 by ktscarlett
Early in this book Grimes describes a bookstore owner as having red hair and a mustache that Grimes found "pretentious. Read morePublished on May 14, 2011 by Anthony V. Toscano
Grimes' memoir must be on the shelf of anyone interested in the writing process or writing while trying to hold body and soul together. Read morePublished on March 13, 2011 by Chiron
Tom Grimes' memoir, Mentor, is so much better than a how-to book on writing. For years I have bought and read every writing reference book that I can get my hands on (183 to be... Read morePublished on November 23, 2010 by MDSHOCK
Since the book is about the author's relationship with his mentor, Frank Conroy, and I had read no Conroy, I was hesitant to pick it up, concerned that it might not speak to me. Read morePublished on October 10, 2010 by Paul Cohen