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What to Read and Why

What to Read and Why

Geschrieben von Francine Prose

Erzählt von Allyson Johnson


What to Read and Why

Geschrieben von Francine Prose

Erzählt von Allyson Johnson

Bewertungen:
4/5 (13 Bewertungen)
Länge:
10 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jul 3, 2018
ISBN:
9780062848437
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

In this brilliant collection, the follow-up to her New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, the distinguished novelist, literary critic, and essayist celebrates the pleasures of reading and pays homage to the works and writers she admires above all others, from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to Jennifer Egan and Roberto Bolaño.

In an age defined by hyper-connectivity and constant stimulation, Francine Prose makes a compelling case for the solitary act of reading and the great enjoyment it brings. Inspiring and illuminating, What to Read and Why includes selections culled from Prose's previous essays, reviews, and introductions, combined with new, never-before-published pieces that focus on her favorite works of fiction and nonfiction, on works by masters of the short story, and even on books by photographers like Diane Arbus.

Prose considers why the works of literary masters such as Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Jane Austen have endured, and shares intriguing insights about modern authors whose words stimulate our minds and enlarge our lives, including Roberto Bolaño, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Jennifer Egan, and Mohsin Hamid. Prose implores us to read Mavis Gallant for her marvelously rich and compact sentences, and her meticulously rendered characters who reveal our flawed and complex human nature; Edward St. Aubyn for his elegance and sophisticated humor; and Mark Strand for his gift for depicting unlikely transformations. Here, too, are original pieces in which Prose explores the craft of writing: "On Clarity" and "What Makes a Short Story."

Written with her sharp critical analysis, wit, and enthusiasm, What to Read and Why is a celebration of literature that will give readers a new appreciation for the power and beauty of the written word.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jul 3, 2018
ISBN:
9780062848437
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch

Über den Autor

Francine Prose is the author of sixteen novels, including A Changed Man, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. A former president of PEN American Center and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Prose is a highly regarded critic and essayist, and has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at major universities. She is a distinguished writer in residence at Bard College, and she lives in New York City.


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3.8
13 Bewertungen / 2 Rezensionen
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  • (2/5)
    This is a collection of already published essays, and largely a rehashing of what Prose covered in "Reading like a Writer" a decade before.

    Zzz.
  • (4/5)
    *E-ARC received from Edelweiss/Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review. No money or other goods were exchanged, and all views are my own.*In her newest offering following the best-selling Reading Like a Writer, author, critic and teacher Francine Prose collects essays that show her breadth as a reader and reviewer.Some of the essays were previously published as introductions to volumes, such as Middlemarch and Frankenstein. Others read like critical essays, reviewing books and dissecting sentences with no worries about spoiling books (and sometimes even quoting the very last sentence). And still others reflect on reading or writing in general. My personal favorites were either on authors or books that I've read - Jane Austen, Little Women - or the ones that focused more broadly on reading and writing - "On Clarity" and "Ten Things That Art Can Do." These were the sorts of essays I would aspire to write in my journal and personal papers, the ones in which I can think about a story the way I did as an English major, to parse sentences and ponder meaning and not worry if anyone else reading my review had read the book (or short story) or not. Prose would occasionally write a sentence that had me highlighting and nodding in agreement while she perfectly encapsulated a thought or observation. For example: "For it seems to be the particular fate of female artist suicides - Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath naturally come to mind - that self-murder lends a sort of romantic and even ghoulish luster to their reputations and causes their art to be seen, selectively and often inaccurately, through the narrow prism of the manner in which they died." She does precisely what she set out to do in this collection, and does it well.Why then does this book not have a permanent place on my bookshelves? In short, because the writer and I are not kindred spirits. The title of "What to read and why" says to me that she's going to recommend some books - and she does - but what she looks for and what I look for in a stellar read are two very different things. I mentioned that she does not avoid spoilers in her bookish discussions; I tend to read such introductions after I've read the book to avoid them. That being said, there was only one essay (the one on Frankenstein) that discussed a book that I really intended to read and cared about not knowing some of the plot details, leading me to skip some portions so I wouldn't know too much when and if I get to that classic. Most of the books, I found, she loved for the writer's craft and ability to address some aspect of the human conditions through his or her characters. They were often bleak in tone. Though I certainly appreciate a nice sentence or turn of phrase, I read mostly for characters that in some sense I like, relate to, or at the very least care about in some sense. I want a hopeful if not entirely optimistic tone, and to be taken away rather than reminded of the quotidian at its darkest. Her erudite observations would be of most interest to academics and those who share her wide-ranging library from the classics to Manhattan Beach to collections of photography to Exit West. I did, however, make a note of one of Mavis Gallant's collections of short stories after reading the essay on her works, and I think Prose would be proud to know her writing had that tangible effect. 5 stars for execution, 3.5 stars for my own enjoyment.