Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different" by Chuck Palahniuk. TNS
Chuck Palahniuk, the eccentric bestselling novelist who brought us “Fight Club” and other dark stories that developed cultlike followings, has set out to dissect effective writing in his latest book, a memoir that recounts his adventures and misadventures in the publishing world.
Palahniuk has made a name, in part, by writing on topics few people would dare to tackle (if you’ve read him, you know). So we might assume that a twisted, unbridled creativity is behind his success. Surprise — though that is likely true, Palahniuk also works from a disciplined methodology.
In “Consider This,” he pays generous homage to authors, coaches and editors who kept him on his unorthodox path when conventional publishing houses wouldn’t touch him.
Palahniuk praises dozens of storytellers in discussing their styles of writing, from Stephen King to Dorothy Parker to Ira Levin, and from Nora Ephron to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. Along with mechanics (writing crisp dialogue, adding texture to narrative, varying the voice), he offers “a couple of surefire strategies for selling books to Americans,” taking on tired formulas and trite plot lines — something the sometimes shocking Palahniuk can’t be accused of.
He also shares his disdain for overpriced writing workshops that tend to be no more than therapy sessions full of disingenuous back-patting. The memoir comes in chapters he calls “Postcards From the Tour” — glimpses of run-ins with crazed fans and critics at book signings, or anecdotes about time spent with notable people in his career. Each Postcard reinforces the message just discussed.
And something you won’t get anywhere else: the author’s personal must-read lists of both fiction and nonfiction titles, writings and teachings that have molded authors through the decades.
Whether you’re inspired to improve your own writing or simply like to revel in the art behind your favourite authors’ work, this tamed-down, reined-in Palahniuk is insightful.
Tribune News Service
Now Calhoun, the author of a memoir, “The Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give,” and an urban history, “St. Marks Is Dead,” explores the issue in depth in her latest book, “Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis.”
Australian writer Thomas Keneally can be a hard sell. Brilliant, visionary and astoundingly prolific, he has written such bestsellers as “Schindler’s List” and “The Daughters of Mars,” as well as more than 40 other books.
Here’s a taste of some of the books that we are most looking forward to in the first few months of 2020. And when you finish all of these books — or some of these books — you can look up and realize that yes, it is spring. And there are more books ahead.
Bollywood Salman Khan has thanked everyone for "listening and understanding" about lockdown due to the outbreak of coronavirus in India.
‘It will be a joy to witness it, in the Duomo, during the Easter celebration which evokes the mystery of birth and rebirth,’ the Italian tenor says.
Some participants have also dressed themselves and family members in elaborate costumes — or shed layers — to reproduce portraits of the past with varying degrees of accuracy.