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Tell It Slant, Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071781770
ISBN-10: 0071781773
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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
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The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

Brenda Miller is a professor of English at Western Washington University and serves as editor in chief of the Bellingham Review. She is the author of Blessing of the Animals (EWU Press, 2009), which received the bronze medal in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. Her work has received five Pushcart Prizes.

Suzanne Paola is a professor at Western Washington University. Awards for her books Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir (2001) and A Mind Apart (2005), include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award winner, a Library Journal Best Science book of the year, an Elle Reader's Choice finalist, and many others.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 2 edition (March 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071781773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071781770
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the whole this book is valuable to teachers and writers of creative nonfiction. I have used it for a class in memoir.

Several problems in chapter 13, "The Basics of Good Writing in Any Form," should be brought to the attention of buyers. Sentences that begin the section headed "The Rhythm of Your Sentences" are not all simple sentences as the authors proclaim. In fact, half are complex sentences. Later, what is the imperative is identified as the vocative or command voice. The vocative is a case, not a voice. It has nothing to do with command. Still later a prepositional phrase ("into this world") is identified as a clause that modifies a noun where it clearly modifies the verb, fall. In short, the points the authors seek to make about writing are incorrectly explained and identified.

These elementary errors are significant in a book that may be considered for a textbook for a college class. Not every writer needs to know grammar cold, but every author needs an editor to find grammatical problems and correct them. Someone left a job undone here. My students learned by negative example.

And where the sample essay entitled "A Braided Heart" is excellent and a superb example useful to a teacher or a writer, "The Hazing of Swans" cries for focus and editing. It is clear to observant students and teacher that two authors wrote this book, working as individuals and not as a team.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not as impressed with this book as other are. I think some elements are helpful, especially the parts about how memoir is not always truth telling as in factual information. But I suspect that people would gain just as much reading the short introduction to Richard Blanco's new memoir and then to read the book which is brilliant (and funny) as anything in this book. I think many of the exercises suggested are trite. I am a retired English teacher (high school and college level) who values writing as a product. And many of those exercises are trite.
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Format: Paperback
Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola have made a good thing even better! This second edition of Tell It Slant (a nod to Emily Dickinson)is updated just enough to make it ready for use for 2012 and beyond without losing the charm and power of the first edition. This text would work in a Creative Writing course OR a Freshman Composition course. In fact, I might propose a new course at our college and use this text for it: Creative Non-Fiction 101! I highly recommend this book for inspiring your own writing, and/or that of your students.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a about memoirs and personal essays. I read the words creative nonfiction on the cover and thought it was covering different territory, more like Story Craft by Jack Hart, Gutkind's You Can't Make this Stuff Up, Follow the Story by James Stewart, or Barry Newman's News to Me.

Future memoirist? You are in the right place - good pick. Want to know how to write other kinds of creative nonfiction? Keep moving.
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Format: Paperback
I have two personas (and thus two reviews?) through which I read Tell It Slant (TIS): the first is as a former student (once a poet, now a would-be novelist), a woman who relishes the rare opportunity to revisit the classrooms of her two beloved professors through this beautiful book. The second lens is that of a composition theorist and professor of writing-- an English 101 teacher with a passion for the role of creative nonfiction in the first year composition (FYC) classroom.

A textbook is an embodiment, in words, of a teacher's pedagogy-- how I love that word!-- the how and why and what-- the STUFF-- of her teaching. Both of these women are exceptional teachers. Their prompts and feedback pushed me beyond the tidy and controlled writing I had been doing as an undergraduate and, through their detailed explorations of what an essay COULD be (the root of the word essay is the French word essai, which means "to attempt"), both women encouraged me to explore new ways of making essays.

In The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing, Richard Hugo writes that while a young writer will learn all that she needs to know by simply writing, a good teacher can save her about ten years.

While it has been just over ten years since my physical person occupied the spaces of Suzanne and Brenda's graduate Creative Nonfiction (CNF) workshops (not to mention the hours I spent in their offices!), key moments play (and re-play) in my head.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that this book is very well-written and an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to embark on the daunting task of becoming a writer/recorder of events. Its premise of "look for a viewpoint" from which to launch the story is something many published authors fail to do -- usually making a good story into a bad book. I am about to start a blog and associated website of a recently deceased artist/relative to "tell her story". I even had "a plan". Having read 'Tell It Slant' I scratched "the plan" as there was no frame of reference or common theme and direction. This book with make my project better.

The only weakness in this book is the Try It section at the close of each chapter. I found them needing an increased breadth of scope -- narrowly targeted to an intermediate writer. I felt the authors could have included even one or two "novice" level try its or even one or two expert level ones, this would have been a 5-star work for me.

Tell It Slant has MUCH to recommend it--a very worthwhile read. Buyer/reader beware: this book can change the way you write if you are willing to put in the practical work. I have found it also changes my experience in READING biographical and event reporting works as I now notice a distinctive viewpoint or lack thereof.
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