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Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher Paperback – Bargain Price, July 27, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I am a thankful recipient of Mr. Zinsser's wisdom and wit. I'd read "On Writing Well" forwards and backwards. I am working on reading it sideways now.
His lessons on clear and simple writing is exemplified in this, his memoir. The stories herein are clear, concise, words are used tactically but sparingly. He is able to say what he wants to say and tell the stories he wants to tell in the same manner that he has told millions of readers.
It is an interesting yet spare telling of his life. He covers all the different kinds of writing jobs that he has had and he gets to the point about what he likes and dislikes about each of the jobs. The anecdotes are interesting and yet still serve to make his point and move the narrative along.
It is astonishing just how many writing jobs can be had by one man, moving from being a journalist, teacher, editor, reviewer, free lance writer, humorist, and conscience. The book is short and its tone is informative - as he had encouraged his readers to be; never pedantic - as he strove to never to be; and informative, as his books always are.
The story of how he came to write his most famous book is enlightening and evokes great respect and gratitude from this reader. The section on his Yale years brings the readers to a place where few tread. And his reminiscence of the newspaper trade in the heyday of newspapers makes on wish to return to that particular era.
It was, a lovely read, an entertaining read, and most importantly, a well written read.
In Writing Places, Zinsser takes us through his personal journey as a writer, from his beginnings at the New York Herald, his stint as a master at Yale, the genesis and development of On Writing Well, and his challenges as a freelancer. We are the beneficiaries of Zinsser's decision to not follow the path that his father expected him to take into the family business. Instead, Zinsser chose to follow his passion to be a journalist and to write. Who knows how many millions of lives Zinsser has affected through his works? I, for one, am grateful that he chose this alternate path.
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.Read more ›
PS I'll read anything Zinsser writes. He never lets you down.
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
An interesting and well written glimpse into the writing profession and the craft of writing itself, which Zinsser has mastered. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Preston Rentz
A wonderful read and it would be read in small slices less you finish too fast. I highly recommend this book to those who love books with great prose. Read morePublished 22 months ago by TDR
Interesting, informative, something any Zinsser fan would enjoy.Published 23 months ago by sarabeth
Compared to Mr. Zinsser's book on writing, this memoir suffers in comparison.
I know he had an interesting life, he is not able to bring those fascinating scenes to the pages... Read more
Wonderful auto-biographical about places Mr. Zinsser did his writing, how he decided where to write and why place matters -- not just to geographers.Published on December 12, 2013 by Karl