Saturday, December 15, 2007

Books I Really Wanted but Can't Get for Christmas

Someone recently responded to my recommendation of a writing craft book by saying, "I'm sure this book has great advice from somebody who doesn't sell fiction." I lamented over his ignorance and narrow mind. He has to read Sven Birkerts and James Wood to know great literary critics don't have to be (and in fact often are not) fiction writers. (James Wood has actually written a fine novel, The Book against God, but reading his works of literary criticism is far more exciting.)

The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again
by Sven Birkerts
Availability: This title will be released on December 26, 2007.

How Fiction Works (Hardcover)
by James Wood (Author)
Availability: This title will be released on July 22, 2008

The two very different authors are literary critics I admire the most. Sven's column in each issue of AGNI, "Editor's Note," unfailingly enchants me with its peculiar language and contemplating tone. James Wood's book reviews have been the reason for my subscription to The New Republic. Now that he has moved to the New Yorker, I am moving on, too.


Tania Hershman said...

Thanks for the recommendations, they both sound interesting, the James Woods' How Fiction Works more for me since I write fiction and not memoir. Good news that he's moving to the NewYorker, I already subscribe!

Xujun said...

Good news indeed.