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Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher Hardcover – May 19, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Influential journalist, author and educator Zinsser (American Places, Easy to Remember) produces an elegantly written memoir, featuring an array of vividly drawn tales from 50-plus years of writing, reporting and teaching in London, the Hamptons, Yale University and elsewhere. A master of storytelling, what makes Zinsser's memoir most effective is the gentle connection he forms with nearly everyone who enters his life, from his students at Yale, who treated Zinsser as a trusted confidante, to the elusive golf-ball thief "Mr. Roby," who Zinsser celebrated in a Saturday Evening Post article. Zinsser also chronicles his days as a writer for the Herald Tribune and Life, as well as the lean times when freelance work alone sustained him. Zinsser also delves into the development of his own non-fiction writing course at Yale, his bestseller On Writing Well, and a multitude of other articles and books. With careful introspection and nothing but gratitude for the people in his life, Zinsser makes perfect sense out of his long, strange journey.
[Audio Review] Best known as the author of the esteemed guide On Writing Well, Zinsser devotes his new book to recollections of his charmed life as a writer and teacher. He reflects on his years with the Herald Tribune, as a freelance writer living with his family in the Hamptons, and teaching at Yale University. Famous for prescribing clear, uncluttered writing, Zinsser practices what he preaches, and his reading is similarly limpid. Looking back at his personal and professional achievements, Zinsser cannot mask his self-satisfaction but rather than coming across as narcissistic, his pride proves markedly charming. A Collins hardcover (Reviews, June 15). (Aug.) --Publisher's Weekly --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've also read his book, Writing About Your Life, which didn't have nearly enough about his own life (just my opinion, of course), so I was very excited to hear he'd finally written an actual memoir. Writing Places was a pleasure to read, but, as I've already said, I wished for more, particularly about his childhood and youth and his WWII service. Something like Andy Rooney did in MY WAR, or Sam Hynes in his two excellent memoirs, The Growing Seasons and Flights of Passage. If Zinsser ever decides to do this, I'd predict an instant bestseller, because there just aren't many more WWII memoirs that will still be written. The reading public is still hungry for such accounts though; witness the recent success in England of RAF pilot Geoffrey Wellum's book, First Light - a wonderful account of flying and the Battle of Britain.
What the hell though. I do so appreciate everything Zinsser has already shared with us. And what he's tried to teach us about good writing. My next assignment: to read his books about music and baseball - EASY TO REMEMBER and SPRING TRAINING. Particularly the first one, because Zinsser is an accomplished jazz pianist of many years standing. Gotta read that one. In the meantime, keep writing, Mr Zinsser, and I'll keep reading. - Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
it reminds you that writing must also be helpful. The book addresses all kinds of helpful ideas. Such as self-evolution. That one's work ( his classic "On Writing Well" in this case) may need re-evaluation and revision over the course of time. His journey describes the complexity of the art of teaching the craft of writing. I didn't think such a thing could be articulated, but he does it. He is William Zinsser after all. He covers helpful ideas including journalistic ethics, history, family, and learning how to learn. Within the notion of helpful writing lies Zinsser's characteristic generosity of spirit. Helping is giving. If you are a writer, give yourself the collection of all of this writer's books. At the very least keep William Zinsser book titles on a list, and give them as gifts to the accomplished and would-be writers in your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I know he had an interesting life, he is not able to bring those fascinating scenes to the pages...Read more