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Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. Mai 2009


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William Zinsser's journey to all the places where he has done his writing and his teaching begins in 1946, with his first job at the New York Herald Tribune, a community of legendary journalists and oddballs, in its postwar years of glory. Next came 11 years of freelance writing for magazines, mainly covering the turbulent 1960s for Life, a period that found the writer and his typewriter perched in many unusual locations.

After that he spent a decade at Yale University, where his office as master of Branford College was beneath a 44-bell carillon. At Yale he originated his famous "nonfiction workshop," which would launch the careers of many exceptional writers and editors. That course led to his classic book, On Writing Well, which he wrote during the summer of 1974 in a crude shed in Connecticut. In this new memoir Zinsser recalls the processes that went into creating that original edition and revising it over the next 30 years to keep pace with changes in the language and culture of America. His journey brings him back to New York City and to writing articles and books in quirky rented offices, one of which had a fire pole.

Written with humor and with gratitude for a lifetime of change and self-discovery, relishing a rich cast of characters that ranges from Yale's president Kingman Brewster to the actor Peter Sellers and the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Writing Places never loses its anchor in the craft of writing—how writing is taught, learned and finally brought to a high level of enjoyment.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

William Zinsser is a writer, editor and teacher. He began his career on the New York Herald Tribune and has since written regularly for leading magazines. During the 1970s he was master of Branford College at Yale. His 17 books, ranging from baseball to music to American travel, include the influential Writing to Learn and Writing About Your Life. He teaches at the New School in New York.


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20 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The perfect example of memoir writing 8. Juli 2009
Von P. Wung - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
William Zinsser gained acclaim as the teacher of non-fiction writing, most notably memoir writing. He is also the teacher of many aspiring writers through his classic tome: On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

I am a thankful recipient of Mr. Zinsser's wisdom and wit. I'd read "On Writing Well" forwards and backwards. I am working on reading it sideways now.

His lessons on clear and simple writing is exemplified in this, his memoir. The stories herein are clear, concise, words are used tactically but sparingly. He is able to say what he wants to say and tell the stories he wants to tell in the same manner that he has told millions of readers.

It is an interesting yet spare telling of his life. He covers all the different kinds of writing jobs that he has had and he gets to the point about what he likes and dislikes about each of the jobs. The anecdotes are interesting and yet still serve to make his point and move the narrative along.

It is astonishing just how many writing jobs can be had by one man, moving from being a journalist, teacher, editor, reviewer, free lance writer, humorist, and conscience. The book is short and its tone is informative - as he had encouraged his readers to be; never pedantic - as he strove to never to be; and informative, as his books always are.

The story of how he came to write his most famous book is enlightening and evokes great respect and gratitude from this reader. The section on his Yale years brings the readers to a place where few tread. And his reminiscence of the newspaper trade in the heyday of newspapers makes on wish to return to that particular era.

It was, a lovely read, an entertaining read, and most importantly, a well written read.
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The Master Teaches Another Lesson 8. September 2009
Von bronx book nerd - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
For me, there is no better teacher on how to write well than William Zinsser. All of his books, whether they are specific books on how to write, about the writing life (like this one), or other topics, are mini-courses on how to write. One can take virtually any sentence in this book and see how Zinsser applies the lessons he teaches in his classic On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. And, of course, his writing skills result in books that are engaging, memorable and bring the reader to reflect on not only Zinsser's subjects but on the reader's own life.

In Writing Places, Zinsser takes us through his personal journey as a writer, from his beginnings at the New York Herald, his stint as a master at Yale, the genesis and development of On Writing Well, and his challenges as a freelancer. We are the beneficiaries of Zinsser's decision to not follow the path that his father expected him to take into the family business. Instead, Zinsser chose to follow his passion to be a journalist and to write. Who knows how many millions of lives Zinsser has affected through his works? I, for one, am grateful that he chose this alternate path.
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Great writing, great stories: bite-sized 30. Juli 2009
Von Colleen E. Fahey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I love to read about writers writing. These writers give you more than than words about writing, they share glimpses of the great stories of their own lives.
PS I'll read anything Zinsser writes. He never lets you down.
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Honed to perfection; simply terrific! 31. Dezember 2010
Von Timothy J. Bazzett - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is quite simply a terrific book. If I have a complaint, it's the usual one regarding William Zinsser's work. I wished there were more. But if it had been longer, it wouldn't have been genuine Zinsser. One of his prime rules is to 'reduce clutter.' If Zinsser is hard on his students about editing out extraneous stuff, he's obviously twice as hard on himself. Because Writing Places, like his other books about writing and his life, has been mercilessly edited and honed to absolute shining perfection. I despair at ever coming close to this kind of writing myself. And I am an adherent to Zinsser's work too. I first read his classic tome, On Writing Well, about five years ago and just loved it. But as a follower I'm probably kind of a failure. I think it all matters, so ...

I've also read his book, Writing About Your Life, which didn't have nearly enough about his own life (just my opinion, of course), so I was very excited to hear he'd finally written an actual memoir. Writing Places was a pleasure to read, but, as I've already said, I wished for more, particularly about his childhood and youth and his WWII service. Something like Andy Rooney did in MY WAR, or Sam Hynes in his two excellent memoirs, The Growing Seasons and Flights of Passage. If Zinsser ever decides to do this, I'd predict an instant bestseller, because there just aren't many more WWII memoirs that will still be written. The reading public is still hungry for such accounts though; witness the recent success in England of RAF pilot Geoffrey Wellum's book, First Light - a wonderful account of flying and the Battle of Britain.

What the hell though. I do so appreciate everything Zinsser has already shared with us. And what he's tried to teach us about good writing. My next assignment: to read his books about music and baseball - EASY TO REMEMBER and SPRING TRAINING. Particularly the first one, because Zinsser is an accomplished jazz pianist of many years standing. Gotta read that one. In the meantime, keep writing, Mr Zinsser, and I'll keep reading. - Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
A rich layer cake of a memoir 28. August 2009
Von A-bomb - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Writing Places is a very entertaining read. But as with all of Mr. Zinsser's books,
it reminds you that writing must also be helpful. The book addresses all kinds of helpful ideas. Such as self-evolution. That one's work ( his classic "On Writing Well" in this case) may need re-evaluation and revision over the course of time. His journey describes the complexity of the art of teaching the craft of writing. I didn't think such a thing could be articulated, but he does it. He is William Zinsser after all. He covers helpful ideas including journalistic ethics, history, family, and learning how to learn. Within the notion of helpful writing lies Zinsser's characteristic generosity of spirit. Helping is giving. If you are a writer, give yourself the collection of all of this writer's books. At the very least keep William Zinsser book titles on a list, and give them as gifts to the accomplished and would-be writers in your life.
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