Monday, August 14, 2006

Another Fine Writing Book -- Bird By Bird

Neurotic and witty, painfully honest and flat out funny, Anne Lamott clearly cares about writers and writing.

Bird By Bird is a generous gift from a woman at once tortured by the writers' struggles and hopelessly captured by the promise of what fine writing can deliver. The book offers emotional support, nuts-and-bolts workaday writing advice, and biographical human interest stories.

Lamott is a mercilously straight shooter when it comes to her own writerly behavior. At her worst, she looks terrified, unsure, petty, and mean. At her best, she's as generous and committed a friend as a writer could wish for. But, in truth, even at her worst she's at her best, unflinchingly honest and intense, curious and giving.

She won't blow sunshine up your backside, won't promise ocean views from the hills of Malibu. What she will do is tell you the truths she's learned about doing good work. And she'll likely make you laugh a bit along the way. Not a bad deal for your fifteen bucks.

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