How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors

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9780847829422: How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors

Have you ever wondered about the creative process of your favorite authors? Ever wondered who loves money more than life? What doors do the secret keys unlock? What old lady wears fur jackets? Who needs to punch a boxing ball before work? With primary evidence from the very private lives of those contemporary authors that are lingering on the doorstep of the literary canon, How I Write is an editorial powerhouse of more than sixty original features by Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, Will Self, Nicole Krauss, and many others. Letters, photographs, drawings, even candy wrappers, phone bills, and other scattered mementos will be strikingly presented in this smartly designed volume. Using the same research team that previously published the unknown letters of Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Dickens's notebook, Harold Pinter's blues lyrics, and a nude shot of Alan Ginsberg, How I Write offers unpublished and unseen material illuminating the secret lives of authors. A must-have for the growing fan base of McSweeny's and other literary magazines, the book, designed by legendary and award-winning art director Vince Frost, will also be a perfect gift for all writers, readers, and anyone interested in books, ideas, and design.

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About the Author:

Dan Crowe was the editor of Zembla magazine, the award-winning international literary magazine, and is currently the literary editor of Another magazine.

Review:

"How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors" (RIzzoli, 186 pages, $35) offers a compendium in which 78 writers are asked the standard questions: Where do you get your ideas How do you deal with writer's block? What are the highs and lows of a day? Behavioral quirks rule, to no one's surprise. A talismanic aura of one sort or another touches these writerly days. -- The Wall Street Journal August 2007

"We expected to give it a glance and put it down, but instead we were captivated..." -- Arizona Republic

"gives you voyeuristic glimpses" -- Black Book

HOW I WRITE is going to appeal less to writers than it is to design freaks, because, like a book in the hands of Chip Kidd -it's an exceedingly well-designed tome for your coffee table, playful with typography and smart with the art, whether drawn or photographed. You can read it if you want to, but you'll be blown away by Vince Frost's design job -- Bookgasm.com

How I Write edited by Dan Crowe (Rizzoli) 192 pages Jonathan Franzen uses a squeaky, battered green office chair. Will Self uses Post-it notes. Douglas Coupland uses chocolate. Jay McInerney uses an axe. What for, you ask? To write. That's right: to write. And that's what this charming book is all about. Not why these people write, but how. It's about their habits and, more importantly, their talismans. Where do they get their inspiration? Their ideas? How do they keep those ideas organized? Imagine walking into the office of Joyce Carol Oates or A.S. Byatt, and you'd see portraits in the office of the former, a cabinet of curiosities in the latter. Written in short bursts of chapters by the authors themselves, the book comes across almost as a confessional, a "come in and see what I'm all about" sort of thing. It's embarrassingly addictive and impossible to put down. Movie stars. TV stars. Sports stars. Just about any early evening entertainment news program will tell you everything you need to know. But authors? Nah. To what they're really all about, you need this terrific book. Give it to someone you know who is as addicted to Nicholson Baker and Melissa Bank as others are to Brad and Angelina. -- Tony Buchsbaum -- January Magazine, December 3, 2007

That's why books like How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors tend[s] to ...appeal to the literary voyeur in all of us..." (with images form the book) -- Chicago Sun-Times

What makes this book so interesting? Crowe asked well-known writers to submit descriptions of the "object, picture or document inyour study (that) reveals most about the relationship between living and writing." Sounds gimmicky at best. We expected to give it a glance and put it down, but instead we were captivated, and we've figured out why: The texxt in the book was written by competitive, creative people who really know how to tell a story. JOnathan Franzen sent a paragraph about his old office chair, which seems to be made primarily of duct tape. Melissa Bank sent a New York Times photograph of a blindfolded rhinoceros being-lifted from floodwaters. It captures, she said, "the ungainly struggle, the possibility of rescue, the blind faith writing requires." Douglas Coupland offered a scintillating essay on chocolate as a cure for writer's block. Other contributors include Jane Smiley, A.S. Byatt, Will Self, ZZ Packer, Tom Robbins and David Guterson.

-The Arizona Republic -- The Ledger, Lakeland FL. June 24th, 2007

on themorningnews.org "...lighthearted and visually exciting romp through the cornfield of literature..." -- Identitytheory.com

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