In this book - an ABC of the genre, with 26 entries - two renowned biographers and teachers take us on a tour, from A for Authorization to Z for Zigzagging to the End. In trenchant, witty entries they explore the good, the bad and the plain ugly in modern 'life writing' and the portrayal of real lives today - and how, across history and continents, we got here.This book will fascinate general readers interested in how real lives are approached by biographers today in a multitude of media. It will make a much-needed contribution in academia, as well as providing an important text for students of history, language and literature, the arts, science and media. And, not least, for biographers trying to avoid the pitfalls of ignorance or ineptitude.
From the author of Stylish Academic Writing comes an essential new guide for writers aspiring to become more productive and take greater pleasure in their craft. Helen Sword interviewed 100 academics worldwide about their writing background and practices and shows how they find or create the conditions to get their writing done.
Anton Chekhov is revered as a boldly innovative playwright and short story writer—but he wrote more than just plays and stories. In Alive in the Writing—an intriguing hybrid of writing guide, biography, and literary analysis—anthropologist and novelist Kirin Narayan introduces readers to some other sides of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations on the writing process, his life as a writer through accounts by his friends, family, and lovers, and his venture into nonfiction through his book Sakhalin Island. By closely attending to the people who lived under the appalling conditions of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov showed how empirical details combined with a literary flair can bring readers face to face with distant, different lives, enlarging a sense of human responsibility.
Highlighting this balance of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to bring new energy to the writing of ethnography and creative nonfiction alike. Weaving together selections from writing by and about him with examples from other talented ethnographers and memoirists, she offers practical exercises and advice on topics such as story, theory, place, person, voice, and self. A new and lively exploration of ethnography, Alive in the Writing shows how the genre’s attentive, sustained connection with the lives of others can become a powerful tool for any writer.
While successful plays tend to share certain storytelling elements, there is no single blueprint for how a play should be constructed. Instead, seasoned playwrights know how to select the right elements for their needs and organize them in a structure that best supports their particular story.
Through his workshops and book The Dramatic Writer’s Companion, Will Dunne has helped thousands of writers develop successful scripts. Now, in The Architecture of Story, he helps writers master the building blocks of dramatic storytelling by analyzing a trio of award-winning contemporary American plays: Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. Dismantling the stories and examining key components from a technical perspective enables writers to approach their own work with an informed understanding of dramatic architecture.
Each self-contained chapter focuses on one storytelling component, ranging from “Title” and “Main Event” to “Emotional Environment” and “Crisis Decision.” Dunne explores each component in detail, demonstrating how it has been successfully handled in each play and comparing and contrasting techniques. The chapters conclude with questions to help writers evaluate and improve their own scripts. The result is a nonlinear reference guide that lets writers work at their own pace and choose the topics that interest them as they develop new scripts. This flexible, interactive structure is designed to meet the needs of writers at all stages of writing and at all levels of experience.
All writers conduct research. For some this means poring over records and combing, archives but for many creative writers research happens in the everyday world—when they scribble an observation on the subway, when they travel to get the feel for a city, or when they strike up a conversation with an interesting stranger.
The Art of Creative Research helps writers take this natural inclination to explore and observe and turn it into a workable—and enjoyable—research plan. It shows that research shouldn’t be seen as a dry, plodding aspect of writing. Instead, it’s an art that all writers can master, one that unearths surprises and fuels imagination. This lends authenticity to fiction and poetry as well as nonfiction.
Philip Gerard distills the process into fundamental questions: How do you conduct research? And what can you do with the information you gather? He covers both in-person research and work in archives and illustrates how the different types of research can be incorporated into stories, poems, and essays using examples from a wide range of writers in addition to those from his own projects. Throughout, Gerard brings knowledge from his seasoned background into play, drawing on his experiences as a reporter and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His enthusiasm for adventure is infectious and will inspire writers to step away from the keyboard and into the world.
“Research can take you to that golden intersection where the personal meets the public, the private crosses the universal, where the best literature lives,” Gerard writes. With his masterly guidance, anyone can become an expert in artful investigation.
The Author's Handbook
Franklynn Peterson and Judi Kesselman-Turkel University of Wisconsin Press, 2006 Library of Congress PN147.P465 2006 | Dewey Decimal 808.02
Providing essential guidance for both aspiring and experienced authors, the second edition of The Author’s Handbook is a valuable resource for writers of all levels. Extensively updated and expanded to account for significant changes in the publishing industry, The Author’s Handbook outlines effective techniques to develop marketable book ideas, research those ideas, and write a manuscript—either fiction or nonfiction—for publication. The authors provide many tips on topics that include choosing a publisher, negotiating contracts, understanding legal matters, and promoting your work. With this guide, the reader will gain insight into virtually every aspect of publishing.
Autobiographical Writing Across the Disciplines reveals the extraordinary breadth of the intellectual movement toward self-inclusive scholarship. Presenting exemplary works of criticism incorporating personal narratives, this volume brings together twenty-seven essays from scholars in literary studies and history, mathematics and medicine, philosophy, music, film, ethnic studies, law, education, anthropology, religion, and biology. Pioneers in the development of the hybrid genre of personal scholarship, the writers whose work is presented here challenge traditional modes of inquiry and ways of knowing. In assembling their work, editors Diane P. Freedman and Olivia Frey have provided a rich source of reasons for and models of autobiographical criticism.
The editors’ introduction presents a condensed history of academic writing, chronicles the origins of autobiographical criticism, and emphasizes the role of feminism in championing the value of personal narrative to disciplinary discourse. The essays are all explicitly informed by the identities of their authors, among whom are a feminist scientist, a Jewish filmmaker living in Germany, a potential carrier of Huntington’s disease, and a doctor pregnant while in medical school. Whether describing how being a professor of ethnic literature necessarily entails being an activist, how music and cooking are related, or how a theology is shaped by cultural identity, the contributors illuminate the relationship between their scholarly pursuits and personal lives and, in the process, expand the boundaries of their disciplines.
Kwame Anthony Appiah Ruth Behar Merrill Black David Bleich James Cone Brenda Daly Laura B. DeLind Carlos L. Dews Michael Dorris Diane P. Freedman Olivia Frey Peter Hamlin Laura Duhan Kaplan Perri Klass Muriel Lederman Deborah Lefkowitz Eunice Lipton Robert D. Marcus Donald Murray Seymour Papert Carla T. Peterson David Richman Sara Ruddick Julie Tharp Bonnie TuSmith Alex Wexler Naomi Weisstein Patricia Williams