William Zinsser is a writer, editior, and teacher. His fifteen books include the classic On Writing Well, which is in the sixth edition, and Writing to Learn. He lives in New York City.
Russell Baker, Annie Dillard, Alfred Kazin, Toni Morrison, Lewis Thomas and Zinsser ``explore the craft of memoir, defined here as a portion of a life, narrower in scope than autobiography,'' said PW of the second volume in the Writer's Craft series. (September)
Five writers discuss the art of memoir in talks given at the New York Public Library. Each focuses on a corner of life, but one revealing both the person and the world that shaped him or her. Annie Dillard talks of her Pittsburgh childhood and her moment of waking to the world outside. Russell Baker explains why his first draft of Growing Up was so bad that he had to start over again. Alfred Kazin finds that writing about his Brooklyn childhood connected him with the great tradition of Emerson and Whitman. Toni Morrison tells why her fiction uses not only family history but the slave narratives of her people. Lewis Thomas traces the evolution of his singular self from primeval bacteria to contemporary scientist whose drive to be useful is the most fundamental of all biological necessities. A delightful and instructive book. Milton Meltzer, New York