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Madrid City in English
Wednesday 21st of November 2018
1303 4th of March 2013 by admin 4th of March 2013
Good Prose: The Art of Non-Fiction

A review of the book Good Prose: The Art of Non-Fiction, written by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd and published by Random House

Writers are often asked how they get their ideas and where their inspiration for storytelling comes from, but rarely are they asked about the nitty-gritty—the sentences that make our eyes pop out and wonder: “how many revisions did THAT go through?” Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder and his long-time editor Todd usher readers into offices where good written work happens, to tell us the story of non-fiction writing and, more often than not, rewriting. They elaborate on memoirs, essays, and narratives, and the challenges of each genre are revealed through personal anecdotes and advice, which come from their deep persistence and experience. As a reviewer, I bestow a regard that I rarely give a book: in addition to being enjoyable, it is also useful—a pragmatic guide that neither pretentiously dispenses its wisdom nor over-simplifies the gruelling process of authorship. While the story may be less than interesting outside the intended audience of writers, I think anyone from the most accomplished writer to someone with only a passing or nascent interest in writing will find gems in this well-crafted volume. Of course, Kidder and Todd could hardly get away with telling us how to write brilliantly if they hadn’t put this together remarkably well.

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