The eclectic nature of the essays in subject matter and tone are all unified by an overwhelming sense of generosity of...

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WRITERS ON WRITING

COLLECTED ESSAYS FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

Forty-one essays on writing and reading, culled from the pages of the New York Times. Darnton, the Times’s culture editor, brings forth the cream of the writerly crop with anecdotes, suggestions, musings, and meditations of such illustrious authors as Russell Banks, Saul Bellow, E.L. Doctorow, Louise Erdrich, Jamaica Kincaid, Barbara Kingsolver, David Mamet, Annie Proulx, Jane Smiley, Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Walker, and Elie Wiesel. We get insight into these writers' minds and their craft: Proulx advises writers to take advantage of garage sales and to research with card catalogues rather than the Internet; Sue Miller tackles the question of the line between fiction and autobiography. Personal anecdotes abound, from Ed McBain's memories of being paid three cents per word for stories that begin with a dangerous blonde to David Leavitt's confession that he cajoled his mother into buying him Playboy, despite his young years, supposedly for the charms of the hidden bunny on the cover.

The eclectic nature of the essays in subject matter and tone are all unified by an overwhelming sense of generosity of spirit, of writers offering encouragement, reflection, and introspection in order to help untangle the often bewildering complexities of the writing process.

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6741-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2001

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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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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