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John Gardner's Collection on Writing: On Becoming a Novelist, On Writers & Writing, and On Moral Fiction

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A special three-in-one edition of celebrated author John Gardner’s explorations of modern fiction: On Becoming a Novelist, On Writers & Writing, and On Moral Fiction In On Becoming a Novelist, John Gardner advises the aspiring fiction author on such topics as the value of creative writing workshops, the developmental stages of literary growth, and the inevitable experience A special three-in-one edition of celebrated author John Gardner’s explorations of modern fiction: On Becoming a Novelist, On Writers & Writing, and On Moral Fiction In On Becoming a Novelist, John Gardner advises the aspiring fiction author on such topics as the value of creative writing workshops, the developmental stages of literary growth, and the inevitable experience of writer’s block. Drawn from his two decades of experience in creative writing, Gardner balances his compassion for his students with his knowledge of the publishing industry, and truthfully relates his experiences of the hardships that lie ahead for aspiring authors. In On Writers & Writing, acclaimed novelist John Gardner discusses the craft of fiction writing, taking to task some of his best-known contemporaries in the process. Gardner criticizes some for writing disingenuous fiction, and commends others who produce literature that acts as a life-affirming force. He offers insights into and exacting critiques on such writers as Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and John Cheever, while addressing his personal influences and delivering broad-ranging observations on literary culture. And in On Moral Fiction, John Gardner’s thesis is simple: “True art is by its nature moral.” Since the book’s first publication, the passion behind Gardner’s assertion has both provoked and inspired readers. In examining the work of his peers, Gardner analyzes what has gone wrong, in his view, in modern art and literature, and how shortcomings in artistic criticism have contributed to the problem. He develops his argument by showing how artists and critics can reintroduce morality and substance to their work to improve society and cultivate our morality.


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A special three-in-one edition of celebrated author John Gardner’s explorations of modern fiction: On Becoming a Novelist, On Writers & Writing, and On Moral Fiction In On Becoming a Novelist, John Gardner advises the aspiring fiction author on such topics as the value of creative writing workshops, the developmental stages of literary growth, and the inevitable experience A special three-in-one edition of celebrated author John Gardner’s explorations of modern fiction: On Becoming a Novelist, On Writers & Writing, and On Moral Fiction In On Becoming a Novelist, John Gardner advises the aspiring fiction author on such topics as the value of creative writing workshops, the developmental stages of literary growth, and the inevitable experience of writer’s block. Drawn from his two decades of experience in creative writing, Gardner balances his compassion for his students with his knowledge of the publishing industry, and truthfully relates his experiences of the hardships that lie ahead for aspiring authors. In On Writers & Writing, acclaimed novelist John Gardner discusses the craft of fiction writing, taking to task some of his best-known contemporaries in the process. Gardner criticizes some for writing disingenuous fiction, and commends others who produce literature that acts as a life-affirming force. He offers insights into and exacting critiques on such writers as Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and John Cheever, while addressing his personal influences and delivering broad-ranging observations on literary culture. And in On Moral Fiction, John Gardner’s thesis is simple: “True art is by its nature moral.” Since the book’s first publication, the passion behind Gardner’s assertion has both provoked and inspired readers. In examining the work of his peers, Gardner analyzes what has gone wrong, in his view, in modern art and literature, and how shortcomings in artistic criticism have contributed to the problem. He develops his argument by showing how artists and critics can reintroduce morality and substance to their work to improve society and cultivate our morality.

30 review for John Gardner's Collection on Writing: On Becoming a Novelist, On Writers & Writing, and On Moral Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    Anything you might want to know.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Rosi

    From the preface we understand from Gardner that the book ahead will be dense and carefully crafted prose, shot straight from the heart, and underscored by long experience in the craft of writing. On page xxiii, Gardner lets the aspiring writer know it’s going to be a hard journey, not only in hours at the page, but also in personal integrity: “Fine workmanship – art that avoids cheap and easy effects, takes no shortcuts, struggles never to lie even about the most trifling matters…gives pleasure From the preface we understand from Gardner that the book ahead will be dense and carefully crafted prose, shot straight from the heart, and underscored by long experience in the craft of writing. On page xxiii, Gardner lets the aspiring writer know it’s going to be a hard journey, not only in hours at the page, but also in personal integrity: “Fine workmanship – art that avoids cheap and easy effects, takes no shortcuts, struggles never to lie even about the most trifling matters…gives pleasure and a sense of life’s worth and dignity not only to the reader, but to the writer as well.” Novelists are people stuck with their profession, although it earns little and makes the dog thin. Gardner hits the nail on the head when he says: “Nothing is harder than being a true novelist, unless that is all one wants to be, in which case, though becoming a true novelist is hard, everything else is harder,” (page 70). That sums up a writer’s career – keep going, because you’re stuck with it. Nothing else will be as fulfilling, and might even make you downright miserable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phil Hall

    This book stoked my fiery passion to become a novelist and write stories. As Gardner poured out his wisdom, I was like, "Yes! That's exactly how I feel!" It struck a chord with me and made me want to write more--to write better. I have re-visited these pages a number of times. A favorite quote has now become my mantra: " . . . the writer who sets down exactly what he sees and feels, carefully revising time after time until he fully believes it, noticing when what he's saying is mere rhetoric or This book stoked my fiery passion to become a novelist and write stories. As Gardner poured out his wisdom, I was like, "Yes! That's exactly how I feel!" It struck a chord with me and made me want to write more--to write better. I have re-visited these pages a number of times. A favorite quote has now become my mantra: " . . . the writer who sets down exactly what he sees and feels, carefully revising time after time until he fully believes it, noticing when what he's saying is mere rhetoric or derivative vision, noticing when what he's said is not noble or impressive but silly--that writer, insofar as the world is just, will outlast Gibraltar."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clay Stobaugh

    Written by the master. Extremely informative, detailed, and honest about the journey.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  6. 5 out of 5

    Don

  7. 4 out of 5

    Davis Miller

  8. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Martin

  9. 5 out of 5

    Figure

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bill Strickland

  11. 4 out of 5

    J. Carroll

  12. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Samuels

  13. 4 out of 5

    J

  14. 4 out of 5

    gary a. guetzlaff

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Gadd

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yvette

  18. 4 out of 5

    Inside Out Publishing (Consignment)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Zu

  21. 4 out of 5

    jane_wu

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bob Edwards

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aimee Parkison

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bradley Barborak

  25. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas GOSSE

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alex Battaglia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rwolfgra

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rob Bignell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex

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