The Story About the Story II: Great Writers Explore Great Literature

J. C. Hallman, editor
Published in 2013
by Tin House

This second volume of The Story About the Story edited by author and essayist J. C. Hallman continues to address and exemplify the idea of a “creative criticism,” one that allows for a personal perspective when writing about reading. As Hallman writes in the introduction, the book includes “writers who think that writing about literature ought to be art itself, ought to have all of the power and sensuousness of a great piece of literature, ought to be a little bit sexy maybe, or at least feel alive.” This collection includes essays by contemporary writers on the writing of canonical authors, such as Zadie Smith on Zora Neale Hurston, Charles Baxter on Anton Chekhov, Francisco Goldman on Robert Bolaño, and Margaret Atwood on H. G. Wells. Altogether, this volume of over twenty essays offers a rare occasion for readers to not only absorb lessons on the elements of great fiction, but on what makes literary criticism great.