This book contains lively and engaging essays on aspects of the writer's craft from an acclaimed novelist. When she was just twenty-three, Debra Spark's bestselling anthology "Twenty under Thirty" introduced baby boomers to some of today's best writers, including Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, David Leavitt, Susan Minot, and Mona Simpson. Almost twenty years later, Spark - herself a published novelist - brings that same eye for identifying talented writers to talking about what makes fiction work. "Curious Attractions: Essays on Writing" is a book on the craft of fiction. How does one find inspiration? What makes a story's closing line resonate? How can a writer "get" style? "Curious Attractions" stands out from similar craft-oriented texts for its range of subject matter and its tendency to parallel craft issues with the life of both the author and the country. Though the book might easily be used as a text in writing classes, it is not a textbook, but a series of essays in the belles-letters tradition.
An essay on style discusses students' response to the Iraq war; an essay on happiness in fiction deals with artistic responses to 9/11; one on openings and closings touches on the early death of the author's sister. Throughout, Spark's voice is warm, articulate, and engaging.
Publisher: The University of Michigan Press