Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

Francine Prose
Published in 2006
by Harper

“Can creative writing be taught?” asks Francine Prose in the first sentence of Reading Like a Writer as she reflects on the people who have helped her become a better writer. The author, critic, and professor of literature guides readers through the tools of great writers—Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Vladimir Nabokov, Virginia Woolf, ZZ Packer—and breaks down elements of the craft into chapters such as “Words,” “Sentences,” “Dialogue,” “Gesture,” and “Details.” Mixing personal anecdotes with extensive passages from literature’s most celebrated works, Prose reminds readers to pay attention to words, the foundation of all creative writing. “Like most—maybe all—writers, I learned to write by writing, and by example, by reading books,” says Prose. 

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