Monday, November 06, 2006

Book Review: Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

Writing books are usually about as useful as a writing workshop. Some information is helpful and other can be dismissed. Francine Prose, in Reading Like a Writer, spends less time on advising writers how to write than she does on telling them how to read.

I could certainly provide many clearly articulated words of wisdom from Prose here, but what you'd miss is how she takes extended excerpts of other texts and explicates them, looking at everything including the smallest word choice or gesture.

I've never read Prose's fiction, but if she puts as much care/work into writing as she does reading, then I'm sure it's worthy of all the praise it receives. I will tell you that I'm now planning to go back and read again everything by Chekhov.

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