About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews

Samuel R. Delany
Published in 2006
by Wesleyan University Press

“Though vast numbers of people want to write fiction, the educational machinery set in place to teach people how doesn’t work very well. While this book puts forth no strategies for correcting the situation, it discusses some reasons why this is the case,” writes award-winning novelist and critic Samuel R. Delany in the introduction to this 2006 book on the mechanics of fiction. A professor of literature and creative writing for many decades, Delany discusses the art of writing fiction—through essays, personal letters to other writers, and interviews—as well as examines the conditions of the contemporary writer, explaining why literary reputations grow differently today than they did “twenty-five, thirty-five, and seventy-five years ago.” Organized in three parts, About Writing does more than offer basic elements of creative writing, it gives clear guidance on the life of a writer. As Delany puts it, this is a book for “writers who are not interested in formulaic imitation, at whatever level, however well done.”  

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