Drawing on syllabi for Joyce Carol Oates’s own writing seminar at Princeton University, Telling Stories gathers over one hundred works of narrative art―"miniature" narratives, dramatic monologues, early stories by well-known writers, prose pieces inspired by myth, legend, and folktale, poems that tell stories, memoir and diary excerpts, two examples of genre fiction, and a generous sampling of classic and contemporary short stories―selected to stimulate and inspire beginning writers as they practice and perfect their craft.Oates’s chapter introductions and afterword on the writing workshop offer students encouragement, advice, and exercises for honing their skills.
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"Every book, every story, every sentence we read is a part of our preparation for our own writing," suggests Joyce Carol Oates in her introduction to Telling Stories, "so it's wise to choose our reading carefully." Easily said. But apart from sticking to the classics and canceling that subscription to People magazine, how does one go about choosing wisely? One way is to find a reliable anthologist, and in Oates we have just that. Prolific a writer as she is, Oates also teaches creative writing at Princeton, and she uses many of the stories, prose pieces, and poems collected in Telling Stories as material for her writing workshops. Among the nearly 100 authors included in the volume are Anton Chekhov and Lydia Davis, Ovid and Angela Carter, H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, Gish Jen and Thom Jones. A rich stew it is indeed, and a terrific jumping-off place for those writers who wish, as Oates recommends, "to read widely, to read with enthusiasm, to read for pleasure, to read with an eye for another's craft." --Jane SteinbergFrom the Back Cover:
Drawn from Joyce Carol Oates's reading list at Princeton University, the pieces collected in Telling Stories provide beginning writers with models and inspiration for their own writing. Oates gathers here a diverse anthology of over one hundred works, including "miniature" narratives, dramatic monologues, poems that tell stories, memoir and diary excerpts, and a generous sampling of classic and contemporary short stories. Throughout, Oates has chosen exemplary writings - by relative newcomers and established authors alike - to delight readers as well as to stimulate students' own creative work. A general introduction and an afterword on the writing workshop offer students encouragement, advice, and exercises for writing. A text for creative writers, an anthology for fiction courses, Telling Stories provides a master's portrait of the art and craft of storytelling.
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