Good Prose by Richard Todd; Tracy KidderNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY "KIRKUS REVIEWS" "Good Prose" is an inspiring book about writing--about the creation of good prose--and the record of a warm and productive literary friendship. The story begins in 1973, in the offices of "The Atlantic Monthly, " in Boston, where a young freelance writer named Tracy Kidder came looking for an assignment. Richard Todd was the editor who encouraged him. From that article grew a lifelong association. Before long, Kidder's "The Soul of a New Machine, " the first book the two worked on together, had won the Pulitzer Prize. It was a heady moment, but for Kidder and Todd it was only the beginning of an education in the art of nonfiction. "Good Prose "explores three major nonfiction forms: narratives, essays, and memoirs. Kidder and Todd draw candidly, sometimes comically, on their own experience--their mistakes as well as accomplishments--to demonstrate the pragmatic ways in which creative problems get solved. They also turn to the works of a wide range of writers, novelists as well as nonfiction writers, for models and instruction. They talk about narrative strategies (and about how to find a story, sometimes in surprising places), about the ethical challenges of nonfiction, and about the realities of making a living as a writer. They offer some tart and emphatic opinions on the current state of language. And they take a clear stand against playing loose with the facts. Their advice is always grounded in the practical world of writing and publishing. "Good Prose"--like Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style--"is a succinct, authoritative, and entertaining arbiter of standards in contemporary writing, offering guidance for the professional writer and the beginner alike. This wise and useful book is the perfect companion for anyone who loves to read good books and longs to write one. Praise for "Good Prose" "Smart, lucid, and entertaining."--"The Boston Globe" " " "You are in such good company--congenial, ironic, a bit old-school--that you're happy to follow Kidder and Todd] where they lead you."--"The Wall Street Journal" " A] well-structured, to-the-point, genuinely useful, and fun-to-read guide to writing narrative nonfiction, essays, and memoir . . . Crisp, informative, and mind-expanding."--"Booklist"" " "A gem . . . The finer points of creative nonfiction are molded into an inspiring read that will affect the would-be writer as much as Anne Lamott's" Bird by Bird "or Stephen King's "On Writing. ." . . This is a must read for nonfiction writers."--"Library Journal" " " "As approachable and applicable as any writing manual available."--Associated Press
The Lifespan of a Fact by John D'Agata; Jim FingalHow negotiable is a fact in nonfiction? In 2003, an essay by John D’Agata was rejected by the magazine that commissioned it due to factual inaccuracies. That essay—which eventually became the foundation of D’Agata’s critically acclaimed About a Mountain—was accepted by another magazine, The Believer, but not before they handed it to their own fact-checker, Jim Fingal. What resulted from that assignment was seven years of arguments, negotiations, and revisions as D’Agata and Fingal struggled to navigate the boundaries of literary nonfiction. This book reproduces D’Agata’s essay, along with D’Agata and Fingal’s extensive correspondence. What emerges is a brilliant and eye-opening meditation on the relationship between “truth” and “accuracy” and a penetrating conversation about whether it is appropriate for a writer to substitute one for the other.
The New New Journalism by Robert Boynton; Robert S. BoyntonForty years after Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and Gay Talese launched the New Journalism movement, Robert S. Boynton sits down with nineteen practitioners of what he calls the New New Journalism to discuss their methods, writings and careers. The New New Journalists are first and foremost brilliant reporters who immerse themselves completely in their subjects. Jon Krakauer accompanies a mountaineering expedition to Everest. Ted Conover works for nearly a year as a prison guard. Susan Orlean follows orchid fanciers to reveal an obsessive subculture few knew existed. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spends nearly a decade reporting on a family in the South Bronx. And like their muckraking early twentieth-century precursors, they are drawn to the most pressing issues of the day: Alex Kotlowitz, Leon Dash, and William Finnegan to race and class; Ron Rosenbaum to the problem of evil; Michael Lewis to boom-and-bust economies; Richard Ben Cramer to the nitty gritty of politics. How do they do it? In these interviews, they reveal the techniques and inspirations behind their acclaimed works, from their felt-tip pens, tape recorders, long car rides, and assumed identities; to their intimate understanding of the way a truly great story unfolds. Interviews with: Gay Talese Jane Kramer* Calvin Trillin Richard Ben Cramer* Ted Conover* Alex Kotlowitz* Richard Preston* William Langewiesche* Eric Schlosser Leon Dash William Finnegan Jonathan Harr* Jon Krakauer* Adrian Nicole LeBlanc Michael Lewis* Susan Orlean Ron Rosenbaum Lawrence Weschler* Lawrence Wright* * Search our online catalog to find other titles by these Vintage and Anchor Books authors.