Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review - Why We Write by Meredith Maran

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They DoWhy We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do by Meredith Maran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To any author, whether you are published or not, the answer to why do you write is simple and these authors are not any different.  We write because we have to.

This book takes that answer a step further.  They just don't answer 'Because we have to!' They answer "Because I have to..."

It's what comes after the ellipsis that makes this book a must read for aspiring authors.  We get an insight into some of the best literary minds.  We look up to these authors, we want their success and we want to know their secrets.

The book is nicely broken down so each author gets his or her own chapter.  There is a quote from one of thier works and brief background information including the authors vitals. The vitals include information on thier birth, family, schooling, honors and awards, and anything else that might be notable.  I liked that it also included a question about a day job.  This is followed by contact information and a list of published works.

Then we get the authors words on why they write.  We learn interesting tidbits like Isabel Allende has a certain date when she starts writing a book.  Jennifer Egan gives insights into winning the Pulitzer. James Frey talks about getting lost (this was personally one of my favorite sections to read).  Ann Patchett tells us why she still writes in WordPerfect (I know!) and Jodi Picult talks about movie deals.
These are just a few quick examples of what these authors have to share.  Each other also ends thier chapter with some wisdom for writers.

I think Terry McMillan sums it up best "I didn't choose to write. It was something that just happened to me." If you can relate, this book is worth picking up and reading.

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2 comments:

  1. Hi--I'm Meredith, editor of Why We Write, and I so appreciate your thoughts about the book. Thank you!

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  2. You're welcome Meredith. I really enjoyed the book and have been telling everybody about it!

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