The faith of a writer : life, craft, art / Joyce Carol Oates.
Booklist Reviews 2003 October #1
Few can match Oates in the breadth, depth, and passion of her literary experiences and expertise. In her newest and most confiding essay collection, she generously shares the private side of her story-steeped life, musing over the one-room schoolhouse in rural New York State she so loved, the now cellular influence of Alice in Wonderland, and the nearly symbiotic connection between running and writing ("Joyce runs like a deer!" she recalls a boy exclaiming, a memory not as benign as it might seem, given the brute intentions of her pursuers). Art is a mystery, born most often of pain, Oates attests as she shrewdly and beguilingly dissects the quirkiness of inspiration and the unexpected felicity of failure, the enigma of the imagination and the necessity of craft. Gloriously well read and unfailingly curious about those who have shared her obsession, most notably Woolf, Lawrence, James, and Faulkner, Oates is commanding in her knowledge and deeply moving in her candor, such as when she notes that people always ask how she writes so much, rather than why. ((Reviewed October 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
LJ Reviews 2003 June #2
As Oates argues, writing takes inspiration-and an awful lot of craft. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
LJ Reviews 2003 October #1
Prolific novelist, playwright, and poet Oates has collected 12 previously published essays about the craft of writing, plus an interview regarding her novel Blonde. The topics covered range from coping with failure as an artist to the inspiration derived by reading others' writing. The award-winning writer draws insight from various writers' diaries, especially that of Virginia Woolf, regarding unsuccessful attempts at evaluating one's own writing. Although her intention is not to write an autobiography, she does incorporate personal anecdotes, particularly those about childhood readings, attending a one-room schoolhouse, and her in-home study. Except for the introduction and an initial half-page essay, no new material has been included in this collection. While this may disappoint some Oates fans, those desiring to know more about this versatile writer or those who aspire to write will find the essays instructive, albeit they are more general than those found in how-to-write manuals. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/03.]-Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.