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On Teaching and Writing Fiction [Paperback]

By Wallace Stegner (Author), Lynn Stegner (Editor) & Lynn Stegner (Foreword by)
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Item description for On Teaching and Writing Fiction by Wallace Stegner & Lynn Stegner...

Brings together eight previously uncollected essays, including four never-before-published pieces, that address every aspect of writing fiction and teaching creative writing, from the author's creative vision, to the use of symbolism, to the complex mysteries of the creative process. Original.

Publishers Description
Wallace Stegner founded the acclaimed Stanford Writing Program-a program whose alumni include such literary luminaries as Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, and Raymond Carver. Here Lynn Stegner brings together eight of Stegner's previously uncollected essays-including four never-before-published pieces -on writing fiction and teaching creative writing. In this unique collection he addresses every aspect of fiction writing-from the writer's vision to his or her audience, from the use of symbolism to swear words, from the mystery of the creative process to the recognizable truth it seeks finally to reveal. His insights will benefit anyone interested in writing fiction or exploring ideas about fiction's role in the broader culture.

Citations And Professional Reviews
On Teaching and Writing Fiction by Wallace Stegner & Lynn Stegner has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Booklist - 12/15/2002 page 727
  • Kirkus Reviews - 10/15/2002 page 1516

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Pages   121
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.78" Width: 5.06" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 3, 2002
Publisher   Penguin (Non-Classics)
Age  18
ISBN  0142001473  
ISBN13  9780142001479  
UPC  051488013006  

Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2016 05:41.
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More About Wallace Stegner & Lynn Stegner

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Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) was the author of, among other novels, Remembering Laughter, 1937; The Big Rock Candy Mountain, 1943; Joe Hill, 1950; All the Little Live Things, 1967 (Commonwealth Club Gold Medal); A Shooting Star, 1961; Angle of Repose, 1971 (Pulitzer Prize); The Spectator Bird, 1976 (National Book Award, 1977); Recapitulation, 1979; and Crossing to Safety, 1987. His nonfiction includes Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, 1954; Wolf Willow, 1963; The Sound of Mountain Water (essays), 1969; The Uneasy Chair: A Biography of Bernard DeVoto, 1974; and Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (1992). Three of his short stories have won O. Henry Prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for his lifetime literary achievements. His Collected Stories was published in 1990.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages
6Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Fiction
7Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > General

Reviews - What do customers think about On Teaching and Writing Fiction?

Full of good advice.   Sep 3, 2006

This is a thin volume on writing (more than teaching) fiction from a great American author and someone who helped pioneer the modern fiction workshop by running the Stanford creative writing department for many years. This book probably won't help beginning writers as much as other how-to books on fiction writing. The chapter with the most practical advice on mechanics is only four pages long, with much of the advice simply listed whereas other writing books might spend entire chapters on each point. But these are things that anyone would learn in any beginning fiction class, and Stegner concerns himself with larger issues. Among those, how to deal with the pressures of publication, questions of audience, point-of-view, and putting what is said before how it is said. There's a lot of wisdom packed into this small book. You'll find yourself using your highlighter often.
Lessons from a True Teacher  Mar 30, 2005
Wallace Stegner was known during his lifetime as one of the greatest teachers of creative writing. As the founder of the creative writing graduate program at Stanford, he taught some of today's best known writers. This slim volume compiles some of his essays and interviews that illuminate his views about what it takes to be a fiction writer - and what it takes to instruct one. The book, however, is probably more useful to aspiring fiction writers than to teachers.

"Fiction: A Lens on Life" offers Stegner's philosophy about what serious fiction should aim to be. "Creative Writing" discusses the use of language, insight, sensory description, layered significance, and point of view - all supported with examples from literature. In "On the Teaching of Creative Writing", the reader is treated to a lively interview conducted at Dartmouth College when Stegner was in residence as a Montgomery Fellow. "To a Young Writer" is perhaps the least interesting of the group - a somewhat condescending "letter" about what fiction writers must face in a hostile world. The most practical chapter is "A Note on Technique", four pages of basic rules that a fiction writer would do well to master.

While this book cannot be called a true how-to book, the lessons it offers are well worth considering for those who are, or who hope to be, in the writing profession.
Remarkable  Dec 29, 2004
Simple. Elegant. Potent. This thin paperback is a Master-Class on the Creative Writer. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author harnesses both his Socratic teaching philosophy and his obvious understanding of the literary modus operandi to pass on his knowledge of what the creative writer is and, more importantly, what he or she does on the page. From caveats of the craft to criticism of critics and on to methods of cultivating one's own potential as an Artist, this collection of essays and letters is, at the same time, a love letter to creative writing, an invaluable guide to those new to the art form, an informative advisory to those looking to teach it, and a humbling reminder of the essential tools needed for those craftsmen and craftswomen already sawing, nailing, and sanding their own literary projects.

Many thanks to Lynn Stegner for taking the time needed to compile and publish the collection and, of course, many thanks to Mr. Stegner himself for having taken the time to compose it in the first place.

And to any and everyone who picks up a copy...enjoy!

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