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The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers [Paperback]

By Vendela Vida (Editor)
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Item description for The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers by Vendela Vida...

This book is a collection of conversations between writers and their mentors, taken from the pages of The Believer, along with previously unpublished conversations. These conversations are not limited to issues of writing and craft, but instead offer unfettered exchanges on a wide range of topics — from Buddhism to infinity, politics to mountain climbing. The interviews feature the serious-yet-casual Believer approach to the standard, often formal, interview format. David Foster Wallace, for example, fields the question, “Do you want to talk about your history with various forms of tobacco?” while George Saunders reflects upon this oft-pondered mystery: “What's up with the crows in Syracuse?” Interviews include Zadie Smith talking with Ian McEwan; Jonathan Lethem talking with Paul Auster; Adam Thirlwell talking with Tom Stoppard; Susan Choi talking with Francisco Goldman; ZZ Packer talking with Edward P. Jones; Dave Eggers talking with David Foster Wallace; Julie Orringer talking with Tobias Wolff; and Ben Marcus talking with George Saunders.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   397
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2008
Publisher   McSweeney's
ISBN  1932416943  
ISBN13  9781932416947  

Availability  0 units.

More About Vendela Vida

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Vendela Vida is the author of And Now You Can Go and Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, both of which were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. She received the 2007 Kate Chopin Writing Award and is a founding coeditor of The Believer magazine and the editor of The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and children.

Vendela Vida currently resides in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > General
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers?

Revealing  Jun 22, 2006
This series of interviews with contemporary authors who are presumably assumed to be of quality is relevatory for three reasons: the mechanics of writing, the contrast in philosophies, and the psychology of the writers. Most useful is the first, in that writers describe their method of sitting down to write and how they both conceptualize their task and discipline themselves. The second is actually a let-down: almost every writer in this book has the "workshop writer" philosophy, which is one of finding novel situations and putting people in them who then act, predictably, like machine-averaged examples of humanity. The one exception is writer George Saunders, who by tackling life beliefs outside of the ones shared in common by popular music and film and writing, showed us room for movement and actual hope that some pattern other than our current soulless pursuit of pleasure and self-importance can be achieved! Most of these people, philosophically speaking, are the kind of "artistic" dipsticks who sit around trendy bars and spout off about things they do not understand; their basic philosophy is me, me, me. Predictably, the writers from any specific political category write about that identity, and not much else, and the writers from academia write about "the soul" without understanding it has some capacity for choice and self-sacrifice. In the case of all the writers here except for Didion and Saunders, my resolution has become not to read them, because I can hear that kind of amateur doggerel for free at the local Diedrich's. Finally, regarding the psychology of writers, one can rapidly see two camps here: those who want to be writers are a career, and those who write because they feel they have something to contribute in words, some form of idea. I recommend this book to anyone because if your soul is not already plastic you will become resolved to read the latter and not the former.
McSweeney's Kicks Ass Again  Oct 25, 2005
This book is a reader's joy. From the physical presentation --- the book comes wrapped in a thick cover with a nice inside-flap folded over, like a hardcover --- to the content, this is a nicely done production. It is not just fiction writers interviewed here, either. Janet Malcolm, the journalist, was interviewed, and her piece inspired me enough to purchase her book, THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER. And the writers talk about more than just fiction: they cover philosophy, the art of writing, politics, feminism, current events, you name it.

If you're an aspiring writer, this is a very fun, enjoyable book to read when you're tired of reading fiction for inspiration but want to become inspired by other means. As mentioned in the notes, (to paraphrase), "...all of the interviews are long." They all, also, inform and inspire.

Highly recommended

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