Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings and Everything in Between

Carol Burns (ed.)

Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings and Everything in Between

In "Off the Page" today's best writers reveal their secrets, tell us how they work and give insight into their writing process. Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Gish Jen, Dan Chaon, Alice McDermott and many others have been interviewed on washingtonpost.com's "Off the Page" series and now host Carole Burns has woven their wisdom into chapters illuminating to the writer or reader. She asks how place influences authors, how they make a sex scene work and how they tell when the work is done. They discuss how they approach a new novel; whether they start with plot, character or theme. A.S. Byatt starts with colour. E.L. Doctorow begins with an image. Here is Walter Mosley defying genre, Shirley Hazzard on love and Michael Cunningham on compassion. This and more from Richard Ford, Jhumpa Lahiri and Charles Baxter will deepen the reader's appreciation for the art of writing and excite them to try new ways of writing. 4.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings and Everything in Between

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Essays, Journals & Letters, Language & Linguistics, Reference
Format Paperback
Pages 192
RRP £8.99
Date of Publication January 2008
ISBN 978-0393330885
Publisher WW Norton & Co
 

In "Off the Page" today's best writers reveal their secrets, tell us how they work and give insight into their writing process. Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Gish Jen, Dan Chaon, Alice McDermott and many others have been interviewed on washingtonpost.com's "Off the Page" series and now host Carole Burns has woven their wisdom into chapters illuminating to the writer or reader. She asks how place influences authors, how they make a sex scene work and how they tell when the work is done. They discuss how they approach a new novel; whether they start with plot, character or theme. A.S. Byatt starts with colour. E.L. Doctorow begins with an image. Here is Walter Mosley defying genre, Shirley Hazzard on love and Michael Cunningham on compassion. This and more from Richard Ford, Jhumpa Lahiri and Charles Baxter will deepen the reader's appreciation for the art of writing and excite them to try new ways of writing.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Emily Paine

Honest and eloquent, the extracts demonstrate above all that authors approach their work from numerous different angles. In this way, to read Off the Page is to listen in on an animated conversation... Whether or not you’re familiar with the books that result from such struggles, this is a fascinating and enjoyable read.

15/04/2009

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The Guardian

PD Smith

[An] intriguing book... All [the authors] agree on one thing: writing and rewriting is never easy... Most agree with Alison Smith, who finds that "everyone goes a little mad as a writer".

05/07/2008

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The Daily Telegraph

Bevis Hillier

By and large, the contributions - rarely longer than half a page each - are well turned and illuminating. The book works well for two reasons. First, the authors are not speaking off the cuff, but are able to marshal their ideas before replying. Second, Burns asks pertinent questions... As well as novelists, though, the book would have been enhanced by the views of biographers (Michael Holroyd or Hilary Spurling, say), art historians (Robert Hughes, Jenny Uglow) and critics (John Carey, Peter Conrad and yours truly). A greater failing is the predominance of American authors. Admittedly, Burns has two British stars in Amis and AS Byatt, but the mix could have been more cosmopolitan.

14/06/2008

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