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The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing…
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The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from Iowa Writers'… (edição 1999)

por Frank Conroy, Iowa Writers' Workshop

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1231176,113 (3.5)1
One of the oldest & most distinguished writing programs in the nation, the Iowa Writers' Workshop has produced some of the greatest American writers of this century. Now for the first time, the author gathers together essays on writing from 25 of the workshop's celebrated faculty & students. Contributors include Charles D'Ambrosio, T Coraghessan Boyle, Ethan Canin, Justin Cronin, Stuart Dybek, Deborah Eisenberg, Tom Grimes, Doris Grumbach, Barry Hannah, James Hynes, William Lashner, Margot Livesey, Elizabeth McCracken, Chris Offut, Jayne Anne Phillips, Susan Power, Francine Prose, James Salter, Scott Spencer, Marilynne Robinson, Abraham Verghese, & Geoffrey Wolff. An eclectic mix of essays on both craft & living the writing life, this book is essential reading on writing from the best in the business.… (mais)
Membro:Greta44
Título:The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from Iowa Writers' Workshop
Autores:Frank Conroy
Outros autores:Iowa Writers' Workshop
Informação:Harper Resource (1999), Hardcover, 240 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from the Iowa Writers' Workshop por Frank Conroy

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THE ELEVENTH DRAFT: CRAFT AND THE WRITING LIFE FROM THE IOWA WRITERS' WORKSHOP, by Frank Conroy, editor.

This book was published in 1999, and I see that there are a hundred LibraryThing members that have the book, but not a single review has been posted. Well here's one. To tell the truth it's a pretty uneven collection. Of the 23 pieces contained here, I found only a half dozen or so to be truly engaging. I bought the book mainly because I saw it had an essay by Doris Grumbach, who is one of my favorite non-fiction writers. (She is now 97, mostly deaf and partly blind, and continues to write. See why I like her?) And yup, her essay is probably my favorite of the whole bunch. A known curmudgeony sort, Doris stayed in character here, noting: "What good writing does not require is public appearances, lavish cocktail book parties, awards, interviews, lectures, readings, signings, and all the peripheral goings-on and hype ... It might help the level of their prose if they would stop "appearing" and performing and become the private persons their craft requires them to be." Well said, Doris.

Geoffrey Wolff very eloquently describes his own mixed feelings about the proliferation of MFA programs, despite the fact that he heads one himself. (I loved Wolff's memoir about his father, THE DUKE OF DECEPTION.)

T. Coraghessan Boyle holds forth most charmingly about his misspent, drug-addled youth and how writing saved him, giving much credit to various teachers, especially Vance Bourjaily, his mentor at the IWW.

Elizabeth McCracken confesses that most of her fiction comes from family archives, stories and papers. (Her THE GIANT'S HOUSE is a favorite of mine.)

There is a quote in James Alan McPherson's piece, "Workshopping Lucius Mummius," that I especially liked. I can't remember who said it, Marilynne Robinson or someone writing for Chronicles of Culture, but it seemed still very relevant, considering the current GOP circus, starring Donald Trump. Here it is -

"Every day, American life becomes ... more and more like scenes from Petronius' SATYRICON, where sex substitutes for love, profits for productivity. Petronius lived in the time of the Emperor Nero, when the Romans no longer voted for their consuls, but were content to worship whatever buffoon had been selected to be the god-man who ruled the world's only remaining super-power ..."

After Grumbach, the piece I think I felt was most effective was the title piece by Chris Offutt, who probably gives as good a description of the writing and editing process and the compulsion to write as I've yet read. I loved his first memoir, THE SAME RIVER TWICE. Now I know I've got to read the other one - and he has a new one, about his father, coming out early next year. That one too, yeah.

This collection was, to my mind, just okay. Well, okay; maybe even a little more than okay, okay? But it fails to unseat what I call the best IWW book I've read so far, which is A COMMUNITY OF WRITERS, edited by Robert Dana. The essays in that book were all good. To this one? Three and a half stars. Okay? ( )
  TimBazzett | Oct 2, 2015 |
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One of the oldest & most distinguished writing programs in the nation, the Iowa Writers' Workshop has produced some of the greatest American writers of this century. Now for the first time, the author gathers together essays on writing from 25 of the workshop's celebrated faculty & students. Contributors include Charles D'Ambrosio, T Coraghessan Boyle, Ethan Canin, Justin Cronin, Stuart Dybek, Deborah Eisenberg, Tom Grimes, Doris Grumbach, Barry Hannah, James Hynes, William Lashner, Margot Livesey, Elizabeth McCracken, Chris Offut, Jayne Anne Phillips, Susan Power, Francine Prose, James Salter, Scott Spencer, Marilynne Robinson, Abraham Verghese, & Geoffrey Wolff. An eclectic mix of essays on both craft & living the writing life, this book is essential reading on writing from the best in the business.

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