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What about the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction

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A collection of essays, lectures, and observations on the art of writing fiction from an expert novelist Look: Artistic inspiration, religious faith, does not come to most of us with the beating of wings or the leaping of flames or the cinematic, middle-of-the-night aha moment that cuts to an acceptance speech in Stockholm. It comes through long effort, through moving ahead A collection of essays, lectures, and observations on the art of writing fiction from an expert novelist Look: Artistic inspiration, religious faith, does not come to most of us with the beating of wings or the leaping of flames or the cinematic, middle-of-the-night aha moment that cuts to an acceptance speech in Stockholm. It comes through long effort, through moving ahead and falling back, through working in the dark. It comes to us in moments of passionate intuition and over long days and nights of painful silence. It arrives in the usual and yet miraculous confluence of ordinary events. It comes and goes. It leaves us in doubt. It is sustained by doubt. It is the work of a lifetime. What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction gathers Alice McDermott's essays and lectures regarding her own "work of a lifetime" as a bestselling novelist and professor of writing. From technical advice ("check that your verbs aren't burdened by unnecessary hads and woulds") to setting the bar ("I expect the fiction I read to carry with it the conviction that it is written with no other incentive than it must be written"), from the demands of readers ("they'd been given a story with a baby in it and they damn well wanted that baby accounted for"), to the foibles of public life ("I've never subscribed to the notion that a movie adaptation is the final imprimatur for a work of fiction--despite how often I've been told by encouraging friends and strangers: Maybe they'll make a movie of your novel . . . as if I'd been aiming for a screenplay all along but somehow missed the mark and wrote a novel by mistake"), McDermott muses delightfully about the art and the craft of literary creation. She also serves throughout as the wise and witty conductor of a literary chorus, quoting generously from the work of various greats (Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Nabokov, Morrison, Woolf, and more), beautifully joining her own voice with theirs. These stories of lessons learned, books read, the terrors and the joys of what she calls "this mad pursuit," form a rich and truly useful collection for readers and writers alike: a deeply charming meditation on the gift that is literature.


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A collection of essays, lectures, and observations on the art of writing fiction from an expert novelist Look: Artistic inspiration, religious faith, does not come to most of us with the beating of wings or the leaping of flames or the cinematic, middle-of-the-night aha moment that cuts to an acceptance speech in Stockholm. It comes through long effort, through moving ahead A collection of essays, lectures, and observations on the art of writing fiction from an expert novelist Look: Artistic inspiration, religious faith, does not come to most of us with the beating of wings or the leaping of flames or the cinematic, middle-of-the-night aha moment that cuts to an acceptance speech in Stockholm. It comes through long effort, through moving ahead and falling back, through working in the dark. It comes to us in moments of passionate intuition and over long days and nights of painful silence. It arrives in the usual and yet miraculous confluence of ordinary events. It comes and goes. It leaves us in doubt. It is sustained by doubt. It is the work of a lifetime. What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction gathers Alice McDermott's essays and lectures regarding her own "work of a lifetime" as a bestselling novelist and professor of writing. From technical advice ("check that your verbs aren't burdened by unnecessary hads and woulds") to setting the bar ("I expect the fiction I read to carry with it the conviction that it is written with no other incentive than it must be written"), from the demands of readers ("they'd been given a story with a baby in it and they damn well wanted that baby accounted for"), to the foibles of public life ("I've never subscribed to the notion that a movie adaptation is the final imprimatur for a work of fiction--despite how often I've been told by encouraging friends and strangers: Maybe they'll make a movie of your novel . . . as if I'd been aiming for a screenplay all along but somehow missed the mark and wrote a novel by mistake"), McDermott muses delightfully about the art and the craft of literary creation. She also serves throughout as the wise and witty conductor of a literary chorus, quoting generously from the work of various greats (Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Nabokov, Morrison, Woolf, and more), beautifully joining her own voice with theirs. These stories of lessons learned, books read, the terrors and the joys of what she calls "this mad pursuit," form a rich and truly useful collection for readers and writers alike: a deeply charming meditation on the gift that is literature.

59 review for What about the Baby?: Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    Although a good portion of this collection contains great advice to aspiring writers, of which I am not, I found it to be so much more . I have been such a fan of Alice McDermott’s writing for years. I’ve read all of her novels. This was a joy to read because it gave me a little bit of a view into her personal life as a wife, a mother, a teacher and most of all a glimpse into the heart and soul of a writer, one of my favorites. The opening essay “What I Expect” should be read by every avid read Although a good portion of this collection contains great advice to aspiring writers, of which I am not, I found it to be so much more . I have been such a fan of Alice McDermott’s writing for years. I’ve read all of her novels. This was a joy to read because it gave me a little bit of a view into her personal life as a wife, a mother, a teacher and most of all a glimpse into the heart and soul of a writer, one of my favorites. The opening essay “What I Expect” should be read by every avid reader of fiction. I was blown away. McDermott’s expectations for fiction are high and many, noting that she expects these things both from what she writes and what she reads. If you don’t already, reading this piece will make you want the same. I was hesitant to include quotes here because she chides reviewers who list quotes rather than discussing the writing, but I really couldn’t do justice by paraphrasing some of her thoughts on fiction, so I am compelled to give a few, apologies in advance . “The solace of art”, fiction that recognizes “joy in all its gradations and complications, in its longevity and brevity, as vividly as it recognizes sorrow.” “I expect fiction to be about the pain and sweetness of life.” “I expect fiction to be about lives that are not my own. And yet I expect fiction to be truer than life — yours, mine and everybody else’s…” “I expect the language in fiction not merely to tell a story and to create a character and to place that character in a particular moment that obliterates time; language in fiction must also record, re-create, what is intuited but never heard, sensed but never experienced.” “I expect fiction to seek to make sense of life and death—yours, mine, and everybody else’s.” She so beautifully articulates why we read fiction. She includes excerpts of stories and novels, Shakespeare’s plays to emphasize her points, her lessons about connections, about the importance of the language, always the language. Besides giving her own perspective on writing fiction, she shares the thoughts of a few other writers on the subject, including Tolstoy, Welty and Faulkner. I loved her discussion of movie adaptations of books, brilliantly explaining why I pretty much always like the book more . I was just so moved by the last entry in the book where she discusses at an event with Frank McCourt, as they sit on stage in a pub like setting “ just two writers, two readers, talking about what matters most, memory, heart, words, the film in the mind, the magic of literary creations….Embrace the astonishing reality of a vivid world, a created world, formed only of words on a page. It’s a gift.” As was this book. I highly recommend this to fans of McDermott’s writing. I highly recommend it to aspiring writers of fiction. I recommend it to anyone who loves literature even if you haven’t read any of her novels because there are so many things here that will touch your mind and your literary heart. If you don’t think this kind of book is for you, then I would say at least read her novels. You’d be missing out if you don’t. I don’t reread many books, but reading this collection has made me want to read her novels again. Thanks to my GR book sister, Cheri, whose beautiful review led me to this. I received an advanced copy of this book from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux through Edelweiss.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    ’I expect the fiction I read to carry with it the conviction that it is written with no other incentive than that it must be written.’ What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction offers various discourses, lectures, and examinations on writing, the art of it, as well as a glimpse into the life of a writer. It begins by sharing a news story that begins on June 17, 2001 when the lives of three Irish Catholic New York City firemen lost their lives fighting a fire in Astoria, Queens. ’I expect the fiction I read to carry with it the conviction that it is written with no other incentive than that it must be written.’ What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction offers various discourses, lectures, and examinations on writing, the art of it, as well as a glimpse into the life of a writer. It begins by sharing a news story that begins on June 17, 2001 when the lives of three Irish Catholic New York City firemen lost their lives fighting a fire in Astoria, Queens. which prompted her to read ’White Gardens’a short story by Mark Helprin, a fictional tale of a similar event. At the end of sharing that story, McDermott says: ’Language in fiction is obliged to invoke what cannot be said, what Virginia Woolf called in To the Lighthouse “the voice of the beauty of the world.” ’I expect a lot of fiction--of mine and yours and everybody else’s.’ One of the pleasures of being able to read and share our thoughts on books is knowing that others also share theirs. I know, for me, that viewing the thoughts of others, or even seeing that someone is reading a book we loved is a momentary remembrance of a lovely selection, a phrase, a character that we rooted for, or a moment that made our heart soar, or made us smile. What we read, the best of it, becomes a part of us, and a part of how we view the world. It helps us to understand the lives and tribulations of others, relate to their sufferings, their joys, their failings and successes. It refines our sense of compassion. It helps us, as McDermott says, make sense of life and death. Several stories, or excerpts from stories, are shared in this collection that offers many different illustrations of fictional stories that meet her expectations. Some by famous authors, and others by lesser known authors. All contain a kind of storyteller’s magic that makes it worth reading, and McDermott shares her thoughts on what she sees as a the ’conjuring’ through words, of a place, the sound of a voice which magically transport us so that we can see and hear and feel it all through the author’s words. A wonderfully compelling glimpse into a life of writing, a master class on the craft, including excerpts by Woolf, Shakespeare, Morrison, Tolstoy as well as several others. But the heart and soul of this is the joy, and yes the frustrations, of living the life of a writer, and one who appreciates not only the gift-through-work of inspiration, but also the effort. The long hours and seemingly endless revisions which lead to those moments where this gift they have will be shared with the world. ’It is the work of a lifetime.’ Published: 17 Aug 2021 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    We all have authors we trust for our favored genres. I love the way this author writes, the meticulous way she constructs her stories, so for fiction, she is one of mine. This book, describes the craft of writing fiction. What she thinks is important, the trade of her craft, so to speak. First sentence, what makes this opening a memorable and we'll written one. She compares and contrasts paragraphs from many different writers. Those that work, those she found lacking. Reading and rereading every We all have authors we trust for our favored genres. I love the way this author writes, the meticulous way she constructs her stories, so for fiction, she is one of mine. This book, describes the craft of writing fiction. What she thinks is important, the trade of her craft, so to speak. First sentence, what makes this opening a memorable and we'll written one. She compares and contrasts paragraphs from many different writers. Those that work, those she found lacking. Reading and rereading everything written down. Continually checking that all your plot points are on target. A book for those who want to write fiction but also a book that shows a reader how to read. Understanding how a book is assembled, put together so a reader can connect and remember. The book opens with a wonderful story she read in a Irish magazine. A story about a man and dog, rather simple in the telling but one she repeats to other people, many times. I loved this story and I too have repeated it to others. A story that works on many levels. This was a very useful and interesting book. Well done, but then again, I didn't expect anything less. ARC from Edelweiss..

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    What a pleasure to get a full class on fiction from a master. Nobody writes like Alice McDermott, and I have not met anyone who doesn't love her books. In addition to writing, she has been a professor in several universities and is currently Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins. And yet, she's also got a family. In these essays she explores what fiction means in the greater world, the difficulties of writing it well, and the challenges faced by fiction writers when asked "Is it real? Did thi What a pleasure to get a full class on fiction from a master. Nobody writes like Alice McDermott, and I have not met anyone who doesn't love her books. In addition to writing, she has been a professor in several universities and is currently Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins. And yet, she's also got a family. In these essays she explores what fiction means in the greater world, the difficulties of writing it well, and the challenges faced by fiction writers when asked "Is it real? Did this really happen?" The memorist or the creator. Where do writers get their ideas. There are as many answers to these thoughts as there are writers, and here we learn from one of the best.

  5. 5 out of 5

    K✨

    Accomplished the rare feat of not only making me want to write something beautiful, but also making me believe it’s possible.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This book needs to be on every author’s bookshelf regardless of whether she is a published or an aspiring author. “What about the Baby?” is full of wondrous advice that doesn’t read like a full-of-himself lecturer pontificating on a topic he has little real knowledge about. For instance, McDermott says, “I expect fiction to be about the pain and sweetness of life.” This gem is true for every writer regardless of the genre being created. And there are dozens of other jewels like this scattered thr This book needs to be on every author’s bookshelf regardless of whether she is a published or an aspiring author. “What about the Baby?” is full of wondrous advice that doesn’t read like a full-of-himself lecturer pontificating on a topic he has little real knowledge about. For instance, McDermott says, “I expect fiction to be about the pain and sweetness of life.” This gem is true for every writer regardless of the genre being created. And there are dozens of other jewels like this scattered throughout the book. If you’ve ever thought about writing fiction or have been writing it for years, this book is for you. My thanks to Macmillan and Edelweiss for an eARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maria-Anne

    I think any author or vivid reader will like this book This book is written for both established writers and starting out writers. The finer point of writing a fiction novel are discussed and explained. I listened to the audio version. Angela Dawe did such a great job. Showing determination in “how to” in her voice that I could just picture her in front of a classroom making sure all the student understood what she was talking about. I’m not a writer and have no intentions of been one but I thorou I think any author or vivid reader will like this book This book is written for both established writers and starting out writers. The finer point of writing a fiction novel are discussed and explained. I listened to the audio version. Angela Dawe did such a great job. Showing determination in “how to” in her voice that I could just picture her in front of a classroom making sure all the student understood what she was talking about. I’m not a writer and have no intentions of been one but I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it gave me a better appreciation of the better written fiction book and it was fun to listen to the examples given.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Shea

    I love Alice McDermott's writing. I have read and re-read her novels countless times, hoping some of her talent might rub off. It's a great cosmic joke that I'm a novelist because one of my biggest character defects is impatience. I am too often guilty of just wanting to be DONE with a novel that has taken me years to craft, but this book reminds me to slow down, to read the sentences, to re-read the sentences, and to embrace any unexpected detours as they come, for I love stories. I always have I love Alice McDermott's writing. I have read and re-read her novels countless times, hoping some of her talent might rub off. It's a great cosmic joke that I'm a novelist because one of my biggest character defects is impatience. I am too often guilty of just wanting to be DONE with a novel that has taken me years to craft, but this book reminds me to slow down, to read the sentences, to re-read the sentences, and to embrace any unexpected detours as they come, for I love stories. I always have, and I always will. As September rolls around and I think of sharpening my pencil (metaphorically speaking) and getting back to the draft of my current book, I feel re-energized. There's great wisdom and humour in the book. I couldn't put it down and likely read too quickly as a result; but now that I've finished, I'm about to start over again and really savour the contents. It's not just that I share her Irish American heritage and SEE myself and my own family in her books that makes me such an admirer; rather, it's that her insights into the many facets of what it means to be human are profound and described in exquisite language. In short, read this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sharon L

    Beautiful love letter to the art of writing and reading. I wish I knew more of the literature referenced as it would have deepened my understanding of the author's ideas, but it isn't necessary for comprehension. In this work we are given a collection of essays ranging from crafting the first sentence and it's weight to examining the life of a writer. Many reviews state that this book is for writers or a handbook for writers, but I think it is equally, and possibly more so, for readers. For this Beautiful love letter to the art of writing and reading. I wish I knew more of the literature referenced as it would have deepened my understanding of the author's ideas, but it isn't necessary for comprehension. In this work we are given a collection of essays ranging from crafting the first sentence and it's weight to examining the life of a writer. Many reviews state that this book is for writers or a handbook for writers, but I think it is equally, and possibly more so, for readers. For this book gives you tools to understand the craft of writing just a little more. People who love the act of reading will enjoy this collection of essays. Audiobook was well narrated and enjoyable to listen to. It's been several weeks now that I've read it and have wanted to find quotes which is nearly impossible with an audiobook without rereading large sections. The audiobook is very well done but in this case, I suggest a print book for your shelf as you'll want to reference the poetic passages. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Drea

    Gorgeous. This is a book I’ll buy a physical copy of and revisit often. Referencing many passages of different authors and writers and others, McDermott actually expounded on my love for words and sentences and reading. I loved every word of this breathtaking book. Heartfelt thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the copy of this lovely book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    Writing students, well-published authors and fans of McDermott’s novels alike will benefit from the advice and celebration of fiction that she presents in this wonderful collection. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2021/08/16/alice... Writing students, well-published authors and fans of McDermott’s novels alike will benefit from the advice and celebration of fiction that she presents in this wonderful collection. Read our full review here: https://booktrib.com/2021/08/16/alice...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Alice McDermott loves to write, and you can tell. These essays about the art and craft of writing simply sparkle.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I love Alice McDermott’s novels, and this collection of lectures from her years teaching writing at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference was just as pleasurable to read as her fiction. McDermott mixes writing advice from famous writers with her own witty words of wisdom—and lavishly illustrates this advice with excerpted examples from her books as well as those of many other writers—to produce a reading experience that is extremely valuable for the aspiring writer and just plain fun for the avid read I love Alice McDermott’s novels, and this collection of lectures from her years teaching writing at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference was just as pleasurable to read as her fiction. McDermott mixes writing advice from famous writers with her own witty words of wisdom—and lavishly illustrates this advice with excerpted examples from her books as well as those of many other writers—to produce a reading experience that is extremely valuable for the aspiring writer and just plain fun for the avid reader. Loved it and highly recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing me with an ARC of this title in return for my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Clare McHugh

    I believe this book is destined to be a classic, a resource for both writers and readers—for anyone who wants to understand the purpose of fiction, and the way it's best constructed. Also, it concerns what makes fiction work in its glorious variety. McDermott draws upon her own experience as a novelist and a teacher, but also reports on what other great masters of fiction have to say about process and form. It's a book, too, about faith, and the how the "problems of the human heart in conflict w I believe this book is destined to be a classic, a resource for both writers and readers—for anyone who wants to understand the purpose of fiction, and the way it's best constructed. Also, it concerns what makes fiction work in its glorious variety. McDermott draws upon her own experience as a novelist and a teacher, but also reports on what other great masters of fiction have to say about process and form. It's a book, too, about faith, and the how the "problems of the human heart in conflict with itself" are at the core of enduring stories. Lovely lovely lovely.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    What About the Baby isn’t so much a how-to book as it is a look into the writer’s soul. Sure, McDermott gives a lot of sound advice, but she also gives voice to the thoughts and insecurities every writer experiences. It’s the kind of book writers of all levels of experience will love. As a writer myself, I appreciated her honesty and candor about writing life. Thanks Netgalley for the advanced read. This is my honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Zecker

    Alice McDermott’s What About The Baby is a collection of essays on the craft of writing that touches upon everything the process, the exercise, and the career demands of those of us to whom it calls. Beginning with a passionate urging by a teacher when she was in primary school, McDermott has built a bestselling career as writer and teacher of novelists. We are treated to a great set of fourteen small lessons on everything from incorporating faith and the personal thematic core in our work to th Alice McDermott’s What About The Baby is a collection of essays on the craft of writing that touches upon everything the process, the exercise, and the career demands of those of us to whom it calls. Beginning with a passionate urging by a teacher when she was in primary school, McDermott has built a bestselling career as writer and teacher of novelists. We are treated to a great set of fourteen small lessons on everything from incorporating faith and the personal thematic core in our work to the true instruction of understanding where the sentence and syntax can move from perfection to the meaningless drivel of a phrase that can be both original and immediately cliché at the same moment. This was an excellent masterclass by yet another master writer and teacher, and yet again, I am blown away by the brilliant philosophical and technical advice I found in this collection. I had many favorite moments in this book – my favorite recurring one was easily her effortless referencing to a broad knowledgebase of other great writers and great works (many of which I have read, but what a treat to come across something you’ve never heard of that a truly great writer has such passion and excitement for in a course such as this). While the whole book was excellent, two essays really stood out to me: the title piece, where we learn how deeply a missed opportunity can become the core of a story when approached the correct way – that backward thinking that ultimately sets a piece apart from its peers in originality. I also really enjoyed ‘Remembrance of Things That Never Happened,’ and we hear about her reverence for Frank McCourt (that we share) in a lecture that she delivered at his first Memorial at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. The anecdote about what he taught her about her own work during a conversation at Lincoln Center is unforgettable. A great collection that needs to be visited by anyone who is attempting to enter the profession we would all recommend they stay away from, but also those who love McDermott, great literature, and peeking under the hood of how the authors engine truly runs.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley, and to Alice McDermott for providing a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. In What About the Baby?, Alice McDermott, a Johns Hopkins University Humanities professor and author of the novel Charming Billy as well as seven other novels, offers essays and wisdom on spirituality and writing. Much of the book is underpinned by supporting literature, which she cites to bolster each of her writerly dictums. As an avid reader, Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley, and to Alice McDermott for providing a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. In What About the Baby?, Alice McDermott, a Johns Hopkins University Humanities professor and author of the novel Charming Billy as well as seven other novels, offers essays and wisdom on spirituality and writing. Much of the book is underpinned by supporting literature, which she cites to bolster each of her writerly dictums. As an avid reader, I loved hearing what everyone from Tolstoy to Billy Collins has to say about the craft of writing. Also as a reader, I had hoped much of McDermott's book would be her own work-- some sections of the book reminded me, a little, of essays I padded with quotations to meet word count. Every work she cites is gorgeous and worth reading in its own right, so I didn't mind (too much), but still. McDermott being a formidable writer in her own right, my very favorite sections were the ones that sprang from her own experience, not reading log, especially her essays on spirituality and how her Catholicism informs her writing. This is where we get to the meat of what she is trying to say, that what is behind the human experience of the numinous is also the same source for art, including writing. This is an extremely worthwhile read for anyone who loves reading, loves writing, and wants a deeper, more nuanced understanding of Why Humans Write. It's like having lunch with a brilliant and accomplished writer friend who still manages to be humble and approachable. McDermott doesn't come off even a little snobbish (though she has every reason to be!) but rather cheers on anyone who dares put one writing page in front of another in pursuit of writing. I would highly recommend this one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    In Alice McDermott's What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction, her love of language and of story shine. She has thoughtful insights into what makes a successful tale (while not being afraid to remind people not to rigidly follow rules, as there are exceptions). Through her annual presentations at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, we have these compiled thoughts, as some began as her formal lectures there. To start, there are chapters on story, sentencing, making connections, editi In Alice McDermott's What About the Baby? Some Thoughts on the Art of Fiction, her love of language and of story shine. She has thoughtful insights into what makes a successful tale (while not being afraid to remind people not to rigidly follow rules, as there are exceptions). Through her annual presentations at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, we have these compiled thoughts, as some began as her formal lectures there. To start, there are chapters on story, sentencing, making connections, editing, and even the connection between faith and literature. She stresses, for instance, the need to read your work at regular intervals so you can make the connections throughout, ones that unconsciously might be setting themselves up, but will take a close read to tie it all together. Such attention to detail sets apart an ordinary work from one that could be an extraordinary one. McDermott's excerpts and analyses are thoughtful and engaging, and I enjoyed marking up my digital copy. (I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    First of all I’m obsessed with Alice McDermott and would read anything she writes, right? But this is more. This is like getting to sit down with her over several glasses of wine at the end of a long day at a writer’s conference - to just talk and talk about the magic of writing and reading. Remarkable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Olson

    Great writing book. Inspirational and interesting. Love that she repeatedly talks about writing as being involved in the narrative arts, commanding respect for both the profession and its professionals. Definitely would recommend -- also, I haven't read McDermott's work so this also inspires me to fix that! Great writing book. Inspirational and interesting. Love that she repeatedly talks about writing as being involved in the narrative arts, commanding respect for both the profession and its professionals. Definitely would recommend -- also, I haven't read McDermott's work so this also inspires me to fix that!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elbrackeen Brackeen

    If you love a good chat about literature then definitely put this on your list.

  22. 4 out of 5

    sam

  23. 4 out of 5

    KP

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon Shank

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jane S. Attanucci

  28. 4 out of 5

    anne

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margo

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex Strohschein

  31. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jan Morrison

  33. 5 out of 5

    Jacques_za

  34. 4 out of 5

    Susy

  35. 5 out of 5

    Laina Johnston

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kit

  37. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Fox

  38. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  39. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hogmire

  40. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Gustafson

  42. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

  43. 5 out of 5

    Pearse Anderson

  44. 5 out of 5

    Emmaline Soken-Huberty

  45. 5 out of 5

    Isak

  46. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  47. 4 out of 5

    Amélie

  48. 4 out of 5

    Nevona Friedman

  49. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Roppolo

  50. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

  51. 5 out of 5

    Jake Osman

  52. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  53. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Doherty

  54. 5 out of 5

    Therese Murphy

  55. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  56. 4 out of 5

    Sydni

  57. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  58. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  59. 5 out of 5

    Martha

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