Robert's Reviews > MFA in a Box

MFA in a Box by John Rember
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Apr 08, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: recommended
Read from April 08 to May 29, 2011

John Rember is unafraid to stare down life's big questions, but does so always with a twinkle in the eye. Like the fool in King Lear's court, he will rap you on the noggin with a truth so sweet it hurts. If you don't close his book somehow transformed, you may well be un-transformable.

Rember's "why to write" book is a memoir of the creative heart and mind in conflict with itself, which is to say a universal struggle that any artist will recognize. More than this, he emerges triumphant over big issues-family, violence, bearing witness, estrangement, grief. Gilgamesh, "Hansel and Gretel," Greek mythology and Paris Hilton all figure in to his survey of literature and culture, teaching through the age-old workshop mantra of showing, rather than telling us, what good, deep writing is all about.

John demonstrates time and again what it means to write as a fully engaged human being, teaching along the way that deep writing is deep living, and profound fun.

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