Reading Like a Writer is a writing guide by American writer Francine Prose, published in Contents. 1 Background; 2 Summary; 3 Books to be Read. 26 May Louise Doughty enjoys Francine Prose’s clarion call to all writers who purport to take their work seriously. I. Francine Prose confesses—and professes—a fundamental truth of writing on page two of her recent book on writing, Reading Like A Writer: Like most.

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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. And although she decries the trend likd writing workshops which insists on uncovering the psychological motivations of each character in order to come to terms with the story, her own revelations of the desperation and frustration she encountered while teaching were insightful, tender, and often hilarious.

So I put down the book thinking I gained no useful insight from reading it, as my one-sentence review from that time reads: Jul francie, Lewis Weinstein rated it it was amazing Shelves: She uses examples from literature to demonstrate how fictional elements, such as character and dialoguecan be mastered. I enjoy reading them in part because it’s reassuring to know that books are still subjects of and a means to explore big and small ideas. She also described her terrible, terrible weekly bus trip to teach school, when she was forced to ride on a bus for two and a half hoursfearing for her life because of the riff raff she had to share the ride with.

Slow down and savor. Meaning, books should be Important and Literary This was another one of my forays into “Books about writing written by writers,” some of which have been quite interesting, a few of which have been useful, but often they turn out to be tedious.


Prose spends the next two hundred pages close reading her heap of excerpts.

However, the book is a pleasure. She demonstrates her writerly wisdom far more persuasively by exposing her ignorance and fallibility as a teacher than by her close reading.

Prose gives examples of what she has learned from reading Anton Chekhov. Do you even LIKE to read?

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

But I think what I will take away most from this book is her advice for when you The trouble with Prose’s book is that it’s good. She makes a few comments about how when she was young she read everything voraciously, “big crappy novels” and “childhood classics” – before she discovered there were “good books” out there. I’ve tried to muscle through GGM, I really have. This page was last edited on 5 Juneat The only reason I’m giving it two and not just one stars is the fact that despite it all, I did take two or three tangible pieces of actual advice writet from it.

Prose also discusses how Chekhov teaches the writer to write without judgment; resding tells how Chekhov practiced not being the “judge of one’s characters and their conversations but rather the unbiased observer. Occasionally the quotes become unnecessarily long and in one particular instance she freely admits, indulgent. Many versions of the book!

She believes this idea on dialogue can be taken too far and that dialogue can be used to reveal not only the words on the surface, but the many motivations and emotions of the characters underneath the words. She even spent several pages describing the horrors of public school transportation and how she spent 2 and a half hours GASP on the road in a bus.

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Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose | Quarterly Conversation

She reminds the reader that words are the “raw material out of which literature is crafted. Put a slightly nicer way, she’s not the kind of person I would ever want to talk about books with. The broadest selection of online bookstores. First person and third person are discussed, and even an example of writing fiction in second person is given. Oct 29, Fabian rated it really liked it.

As a late bloomer, many high school topics, including reading and writing were wasted on me.

Reading Like a Writer – Francine Prose – Paperback

Prose proceeds to elaborate on what she sees as the pedagogical benefit of close reading by moving through a sequence of chapters addressing specific aspects of novel-writing, each illustrated with examples from writers she admires. Oh no, I thought, but I plunged further into the book and was “rewarded” by Francine “Deathless” Prose describing in breathy terms her most beloved authors and passages, most of which left me cold. Francine Prose is the franicne of twenty works of fiction.

Rpose help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. Those reviews make some parts of my brain feel bigger, but they have never made me feel close to the reviewer or author.

Cover of the first edition.