Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing

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9780472068975: Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing
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Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing is a book about what makes fiction work. In nine entertaining and instructive essays, novelist and master teacher Debra Spark pursues key questions that face both aspiring and accomplished writers, including: How does a writer find inspiration? What makes a story's closing line resonate? How can a writer "get" style? Where should an author "stand" in relation to his or her characters?

While the book will have immediate appeal for students of writing, it will also be of interest to general readers for its in-depth reading of contemporary fiction and for its take on important issues of the day: Should writers try to be more uplifting? How is emotion best conveyed in fiction? Why are serious writers in North America wedded to the realist tradition?

When she was only twenty-three, Debra Spark's best-selling anthology 20 Under 30 introduced readers to some of today's best writers, including David Leavitt, Susan Minot, Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, and Mona Simpson. Almost twenty years later, Spark brings this same keen critical eye to Curious Attractions, discussing a broad range of authors from multiple genres and generations.

A collection of essays in the belles-lettres tradition, Curious Attractions offers lively and instructive discussions of craft flavored with autobiographical reflections and commentary on world events. Throughout, Spark's voice is warm, articulate, and engaging as it provides valuable insights to readers and writers alike.

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About the Author:

Debra Spark is director of the Creative Writing Program at Colby College and author of the novels Coconuts for the Saint and The Ghost of Bridgetown. She has been a fellow at Yaddo and at the Bunting Institute, and a recipient of a grant from the NEA.

From Booklist:

One of the many loaded questions Spark poses is, Why is there so little "happy fiction"? Readers may ask, how much fun can a book about writing fiction be? The answer: a whole lot with Spark as your guide. An adventurous novelist and an experienced teacher, she takes a personal, anecdotal approach to the challenge of creating fiction, lacing her illuminating essays with provocative quotes from writers as varied as Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Spark writes about where stories come from, why openings and closings are so difficult to pull off, what we mean by style, the difference between sentiment and sentimentality, and how magic realism fares in North America. Her lines of inquiry are significant. Her observations about craft are fluent. And her ability to both analyze fiction and respect its mystery makes for a suitably frank and bemused perspective backed by unabashed wonder at the workings of the imagination and the undeniable power of literature. Spark's canny essays are a pleasure for readers and writers alike. Donna Seaman
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9780472098972: Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing

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ISBN 10:  0472098977 ISBN 13:  9780472098972
Publisher: University of Michigan Press, 2005
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Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book contains lively and engaging essays on aspects of the writer's craft from an acclaimed novelist. When she was just twenty-three, Debra Spark's bestselling anthology "Twenty under Thirty" introduced baby boomers to some of today's best writers, including Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, David Leavitt, Susan Minot, and Mona Simpson. Almost twenty years later, Spark - herself a published novelist - brings that same eye for identifying talented writers to talking about what makes fiction work. "Curious Attractions: Essays on Writing" is a book on the craft of fiction. How does one find inspiration? What makes a story's closing line resonate? How can a writer "get" style? "Curious Attractions" stands out from similar craft-oriented texts for its range of subject matter and its tendency to parallel craft issues with the life of both the author and the country. Though the book might easily be used as a text in writing classes, it is not a textbook, but a series of essays in the belles-letters tradition. An essay on style discusses students' response to the Iraq war; an essay on happiness in fiction deals with artistic responses to 9/11; one on openings and closings touches on the early death of the author's sister. Throughout, Spark's voice is warm, articulate, and engaging. Seller Inventory # AAN9780472068975

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Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book contains lively and engaging essays on aspects of the writer s craft from an acclaimed novelist. When she was just twenty-three, Debra Spark s bestselling anthology Twenty under Thirty introduced baby boomers to some of today s best writers, including Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, David Leavitt, Susan Minot, and Mona Simpson. Almost twenty years later, Spark - herself a published novelist - brings that same eye for identifying talented writers to talking about what makes fiction work. Curious Attractions: Essays on Writing is a book on the craft of fiction. How does one find inspiration? What makes a story s closing line resonate? How can a writer get style? Curious Attractions stands out from similar craft-oriented texts for its range of subject matter and its tendency to parallel craft issues with the life of both the author and the country. Though the book might easily be used as a text in writing classes, it is not a textbook, but a series of essays in the belles-letters tradition. An essay on style discusses students response to the Iraq war; an essay on happiness in fiction deals with artistic responses to 9/11; one on openings and closings touches on the early death of the author s sister. Throughout, Spark s voice is warm, articulate, and engaging. Seller Inventory # AAN9780472068975

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Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This book contains lively and engaging essays on aspects of the writer's craft from an acclaimed novelist. When she was just twenty-three, Debra Spark's bestselling anthology "Twenty under Thirty" introduced baby boomers to some of today's best writers, including Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, David Leavitt, Susan Minot, and Mona Simpson. Almost twenty years later, Spark - herself a published novelist - brings that same eye for identifying talented writers to talking about what makes fiction work. "Curious Attractions: Essays on Writing" is a book on the craft of fiction. How does one find inspiration? What makes a story's closing line resonate? How can a writer "get" style? "Curious Attractions" stands out from similar craft-oriented texts for its range of subject matter and its tendency to parallel craft issues with the life of both the author and the country. Though the book might easily be used as a text in writing classes, it is not a textbook, but a series of essays in the belles-letters tradition. An essay on style discusses students' response to the Iraq war; an essay on happiness in fiction deals with artistic responses to 9/11; one on openings and closings touches on the early death of the author's sister. Throughout, Spark's voice is warm, articulate, and engaging. Seller Inventory # BTE9780472068975

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