Saucy, sexy stories of a young writer's life.

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YOU'RE MARRIED TO HER?

A slim yet raucous romp through a novelist’s life.

Spanning several decades, with sex as the undercurrent that ties these essays together, Wood (Going Public, 1991, etc.) amusingly exposes his adolescent, marital and extramarital exploits. "I laughed at guys who drove hundred-fifty-thousand-dollar Mercedes,” he writes. “I viewed fitness fetishists as lumpy bags of rock. Mansions, advanced degrees, academic prizes, were as foolish a way to prove oneself as a trophy room full of rhinoceros heads…It was obvious to me that the one who dies with the most sex wins." Determined to prove this point to readers, Wood wittily interweaves his sex life with his work as a writer, art teacher, book publisher, small-town government official and husband to writer Marge Piercy, with whom he has authored two books (So You Want to Write, 2001, etc.). Wood also self-deprecatingly divulges his youthful indiscretions, including the blatant lie to his first lover that his parents were dead, his dalliances with cocaine and his contraction of chlamydia. He reveals his testy confrontations with his parents and the ill feelings caused by his representation of his mother in a novel, which remained a sore spot for years. Fortunately, maturity and a long-term relationship stabilized his life. Although Wood writes that "sex is more interesting than writing,” he has successfully combined both in this bawdy bit of self-scrutiny.

Saucy, sexy stories of a young writer's life.

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-935248-25-5

Page Count: 170

Publisher: Leapfrog

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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