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Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 27, 2009
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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"A mesmerizing book of essays by famous pens who themselves were once helped -- or hurt -- by established talents as they tried to climb their way up the literary ladder. [Mentors, Muses & Monsters] beautifully captures the experience of being a literary aspirant -- wide-eyed, enchanted by words, and eager for the tutelage of a mentor -- one who's already scaled the temple wall and emerged, shining, in a turret." -- The Christian Science Monitor
"Every one of the essays here -- from Benedict's own remembrance of Elizabeth Hardwick to Christopher Castellani's "Coming of Age at Breadloaf" is wise and full of heart." -- Chicago Tribune
"Michael Cunningham relates his discovery of Mrs. Dalloway, the happy result of failing to impress a girl during high school.... Joyce Carol Oates tells us that she had no mentor but books.... And in terrific essays on the New York Review of Books and the Iowa Writers Workshop, Neil Gordon and Jane Smiley give us a sense...of how institutions conspire to turn ordinary human beings into award-winning authors." -- Bookforum (Robert P. Baird Nov. 5)
"Enthralling.... [a] lovingly compiled collection of essays." -- The Errant Aesthete
"This anthology is that rare gem, a collection whose whole is greater, even, than the sum of its parts. Where else could you read musings-about-muses, accompanied by juicy tales from deep inside the writing life, by 30 of the best minds of our generation, all between the covers of one book?" -- The San Francisco Chronicle
"The essays are not simply worshipful tributes to literary lions. Each writer shades in the nuances of character and experience that make his subject come to life, and each reads like a short story.... For the reader aspiring to sharpen his own craft, gem after gem emerges from this book's pages.... I haven't finished reading all the essays. In truth, I am reluctant to complete it, so deliciously rich and illuminating have I found each offering. I suspect any writer or serious reader will feel the same way." -- MV Times
Top Customer Reviews
Have you ever wanted to know more about how authors you admire formed their sensibilities? Who their big influences and teachers were? And indeed, how influence itself works?
Then you will love this book. The authors clearly cared deeply about their subjects, and write with poignancy and insight about their mentors.
From the high school girl who shamed Michael Cunningham into reading Virginia Woolf, to Jonathan Safran Foer's charming account of his relationship to a great Israeli poet, the book is filled with great essays by great writers.
I wonder who all those Smiths are that the editor lists as her mentors and muses. I yearn to read the essay about them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whether you believe writers are born with their talent or develop it, they all have important influences that shape their art and their destinies. Read morePublished on February 11, 2010 by Kenneth R. Mabry