Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Next Week: Finding the Words: Writers on Inspiration, Desire, War, Celebrity, Exile, and Breaking the Rules edited by Jared Bland

In some ways, it’s a pretty thin pretext for an anthology. Ask 31 writers to talk about writing, then make it a book. But as loose as the subject matter would seem to be, the subjects themselves transcend the mandate and what we end up with is a lively, informative and occasionally even touching book about the sometimes mystical process of getting words onto the page.

The philosopher Alain de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life, A Week at the Airport) uses the space to muse about process… then muse about muses. “The idea of a muse may be fanciful and politically incorrect,” he writes, “but the lady evokes well enough the insecurity of the hold most writers have on their creative faculties.”

Guy Gavriel Kay (Under Heaven, The Last Light of the Sun) talks about the changing role of the writer in an increasingly electronic world.

Lisa Moore (February, Alligator) delivers a very Mooreish essay that illustrates, as well as anything ever could, how Moore herself manages to breathe such vivid life into her work.

Emma Donoghue gets very specific with how she developed the wonderful language that fills last year’s Room.

I can’t imagine the book lover who would not love Finding the Words (Emblem). Writers will love it for feelings and situations that will resonate with them: “I’ve been there before!” Readers will love it for the direct access to so many secrets. Linden MacIntyre; Annabel Lyon; Elizabeth Hay; Pasha Malla; and so many other voices sharing their talent and their hearts. Finding the Words is a wonderful book. ◊

Linda L. Richards is editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.

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Anonymous Shelley said...

I'd rather be trapped in the middle of a convention of used car salesmen than read a book about writers writing about writing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 9:22:00 AM PST  
Blogger Linda L. Richards said...

Seriously? I guess that's why there are so many books: because there are so many readers! I found it deeply interesting.

In any case, I don't think the comparison really holds up. Writers spend their lives learning their art and craft. I don't think this is anywhere near as true for car salesmen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:42:00 AM PST  

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