Steering the Craft


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Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness, Walker, 1994), the author of more than 30 novels, short stories, poetry, children's books, and essays, demonstrates here why she is a master of her craft. The title refers to a workshop she gave at the Flight of the Mind in 1966; collected here are the discussion topics and exercises for self-guided study. Although she focuses on the technical aspects of writing, Le Guin's skill pushes this beyond a handbook or style manual. Through "opinion pieces" about specific concerns, through her eclectic selections of writing to illustrate various techniques and the progression of exercises crafted to give experience to the novice and to flex the muscles of more seasoned writers, Le Guin's style is warm and encouraging, yet her standards of what turns writing into art are clearly defined and never compromised. A separate section covers collaborative workshops and "peer review" groups, offering sound suggestions for making the time spent both productive and challenging. Highly recommended.‘Denise S. Sticha, Seton Hill Coll. Lib., Greensburg, PA

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