Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine ProseIn her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart - to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; she is deeply moved by the brilliant characterization in George Eliots Middlemarch. She looks to John Le Carre for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue and to Flannery OConnor for the cunning use of the telling detail. And, most important, Prose cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted.
Francine Prose How to Read as a Writer
Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
In such a bulging field, it is remarkable that there is any gap in the market, but an acerbic American novelist with the improbably suitable name of Francine Prose has found it and filled it. Reading Like a Writer is a clarion call for aspiring writers to do that most simple, time-consuming but enjoyable thing: their homework. Doctors go to medical school, barristers train at the bar: novelists may or may not choose a creative writing course but reading is the one training tool they can't do without. It's a case Prose makes with such vigour as to make this an essential book for any writer, new or experienced, who purports to take his or herself remotely seriously. Like most authors, Prose has been an avid reader since childhood: "On one family vacation, my father pleaded with me to close my book long enough to look at the Grand Canyon. The point about learning from great writers is well made but if there is fault in this excellent book, it is in Prose's anxiety to defend The Canon.
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Reading Like a Writer is a writing guide by American writer Francine Prose, published in Contents. 1 Background; 2 Summary; 3 Books to be Read.
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Whoever predicted the death of the book couldn't have been more wrong. There are more books around today than ever before -- so many, in fact, that a whole genre of books about reading has emerged just to help us make sense of them all. This genre has, in the last few years, developed so rapidly that a new example seems to appear on the shelves every month. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley, in which, stymied by the frustrations of her latest work, Smiley recounts her decision to shut down her laptop, put her feet up, and re-read of her all-time favorite novels. Francine Prose, like Jane Smiley, is perhaps best known as a fiction writer -- she's the author of The Blue Angel and Household Saints , among other well-received novels -- so my initial concern was that, coming so close on the heels of the Smiley book, Reading Like a Writer might be redundant. I needn't have worried. Not enough can be said about the way we read, and how it connects not only to the way we write, but also to the way we live.
She uses examples from literature to demonstrate how fictional elements, such as character and dialogue , can be mastered. Prose discusses the question of whether writing can be taught. She answers the question by suggesting that although writing workshops can be helpful, the best way to learn to write is to read. Closely reading books, Prose studied word choice and sentence construction. Close reading helped her solve difficult obstacles in her own writing.