Writing, from Professional Author and Professional Reader

Perusing June’s copy of “Believer” I found myself reading an article (actually a lecture) written by Zadie Smith about James Wood’s How Fiction Works.  Smith, a pro author (most notable for the excellent White Teeth but also has written 2 other books) mentions how she loves Wood’s book as a reader, but as a writer loathes it.  Wood, one of the most respected literary critics, tackles fiction as a whole in his book, taking swipes at the mass with a freakishly erudite approach in which he culls from any work imaginable (if you want a better explanation go back to Walter Kirn’s review on the cover of August 17’s NYT Book Review). on the craft of writing (That Crafty Feeling) that mentioned James Wood’s latest tome,

In any event, this level of connectedness is not to be ignored, and therefore let me suggest that you both pick up the excellent article by Smith, if you enjoy writing, and the solid, if at times dusty, work of Wood.

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