“More than just a beautiful read… The essays in this book are also mortal, corporeal. There is shame in them, and joy, and sadness, and there is love. They are, like the literature they describe, alive with possibility.” Willamette Weekly

"The Exuberant Self" The Elegant Variation
"Driving the Stake" Guernica
"Heal the Lung" Guernica
"Kafka?  I Love Kafka.  He's Very Kafkaesque" Guernica
"The Disciplined Soul" InDigest
"Metaphor Will Save Your Life" Tin House Blog
"Ten Favorite Books of Creative Criticism" Conversational Reading
  “A Craft in its Own Right: An Interview” Zone 3

The Story About the Story Series

Writers and critics have always approached writing about reading differently.  Most of us are familiar with the latter group: the theoretical critical enterprise that has resulted in the five-paragraph essay with which all high school students are inoculated against the effects of good books.  The Story About the Story Series suggests an alternative: the writers’ methodology.  Writers have always approached writing about reading from an intensely personal perspective, incorporating their pasts and their passions into their process of interpretation.  The many essays compiled in these volumes suggest an unidentified school of “creative criticism,” and a possible future for how we write about reading.

The Story About the Story Series offers lessons from a remarkable range of celebrated authors that amount to an invaluable course on both how to write and read well.  These essays are by turns poignant, smart, suggestive, intellectual, funny, sassy, scathing, laudatory, wistful, and hopeful—and above all deeply engaged in what Emerson called “creative reading.”

“An Interview with Walter Kirn”

“An Interview with Edward Hirsch”

“An Interview with Jane Tompkins”

“An Interview with Nicholson Baker”

“An Interview with Phyllis Rose”

“An Interview with Charles Baxter”

“An Interview with Wendy Lesser”

“An Interview with William Gass”

“An Interview with Fred Setterberg”

“An Interview with Dagoberto Gilb”

“An Interview with Sven Birkerts”