i enjoyed this read -- i found nafisi's voice to be great, and her prose is lovely. it's very clear she is a passionate advocate fo3.5-stars, really.
i enjoyed this read -- i found nafisi's voice to be great, and her prose is lovely. it's very clear she is a passionate advocate for literature, and believes deeply in the importance and necessity of fiction in our world. i underlined many passages in the book, and will be pondering on many of nafisi's thoughts and ideas for some time to come. i just feel a bit disconnected from some aspects of the book, perhaps because i am not american? while i am certainly clear on nafisi's messages throughout the book, and much of it is universal, i don't feel i can comfortably debate some aspects of it, or that i can just accept some of nafisi's opinions as truths. (i don't doubt her, don't get me wrong. i just wish i had more knowledge myself. so perhaps she, in writing this book, will cause me to learn more? i did, however, spend an awful lot of time wondering which three books could be used for canada.... if this were to become a series. heh.)
i have read all three, but it's been so long that i need (want) to go back and reread them. with the publication of nafisi's book, these 4 reads together could make a great american lit. project, if anyone is so inclined. :)
alright... so. this was a very frustrating read for me. at moments, smiley could not have been more spot-on and offered some very valuable gems. at otalright... so. this was a very frustrating read for me. at moments, smiley could not have been more spot-on and offered some very valuable gems. at other moments, i just wanted to call 'bullshit!' on some of her commentary. (in the early part of the book, not during the part where she shares her notes on the 100 books. one example came when she started talking about the ages of writers.) and then, at other moments, i found the smiley's insertion of herself so totally inappropriate (one example: right from the get-go (so that, unfortunately, got my defences up very early) when she notes some fairly legendary authors who share a birth month, then says 'me too!'. pfft. completely unnecessary.) it makes sense to me that smiley would talk about her own books and processes in the two later chapters that are aimed at writers and deal with writing novels. but each time she mentioned her own work in the earlier chapters, i wanted to stop reading the book. i was drawn to 13 ways.. because of the broad study it offered. i don't know that i would have such interest in reading a book only about smiley? look, i have read only two novels by smiley: A Thousand Acres and Moo. i read them years ago. i recall i liked them and smiley is definitely someone i planned to read more of (and i have her two latests books on my shelves). so i really had no strong opinion about smiley going into this read. what i did know about her made me think this would be worth reading. but there is a tone i felt while read 13 ways... that was really off-putting. it was part snob, part know-it-all, with moments of giant ego. i am not sure if this says more about me as the reader, though? although it was annoying to have to sift through so much.... stuff (and there was quite a bit of repetition too, and i really felt this read to be a slog at moments) to get to the interesting and useful bits, i did find those moments so good and really helpful. i read this in e-pub format, and it wasn't well done. so i do plan to acquire a hardcopy. i think it is a good resource for my books on writing collection, as i will probably want to reference very specific parts again. beyond that, i think i will stick to smiley's fiction, in the future....more
While Gooch's writing isn't the most eloquent, it is good. The portrait he offers of O'Connor feels complete and I feel as though I have a stronger unWhile Gooch's writing isn't the most eloquent, it is good. The portrait he offers of O'Connor feels complete and I feel as though I have a stronger understanding of O'Connor as both a writer and a person....more
This is a great book and I would recommend it for anyone with an interest in writing. There are so many writing prompts to help get the creativity floThis is a great book and I would recommend it for anyone with an interest in writing. There are so many writing prompts to help get the creativity flowing. Each chapter is its own exercise and each chapter has been contributed by a different published author. ...more