How to Write Like Tolstoy
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|Author||: Richard Cohen|
|Editor||: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
For anyone who has ever identified with a hero or heroine, been seduced by a strong opening sentence, or been powerfully moved by a story's end, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a thought-provoking journey inside the minds of the world's most accomplished storytellers, from Shakespeare to Stephen King. "I have tried, as far as possible using the words of the authors themselves, to explain their craft, aiming to take readers on a journey into the concerns, techniques, tricks, flaws, and, occasionally, obsessions of our most luminous writers."--from the Preface Behind every acclaimed work of literature is a trove of heartfelt decisions. The best authors put painstaking--sometimes obsessive--effort into each element of their stories, from plot and character development to dialogue and point of view. What made Nabokov choose the name Lolita? Why did Fitzgerald use first-person narration in The Great Gatsby? How did Kerouac, who raged against revision, finally come to revise On the Road? Veteran editor and teacher Richard Cohen draws on his vast reservoir of a lifetime's reading and his insight into what makes good prose soar. Here are Gabriel García Márquez's thoughts on how to start a novel ("In the first paragraph you solve most of the problems with your book"); Virginia Woolf offering her definition of style ("It is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can't use the wrong words"); and Vladimir Nabokov on the nature of fiction ("All great novels are great fairy tales"). Cohen has researched the published works and private utterances of our greatest authors to discover the elements that made their prose memorable. The result is a unique exploration of the act and art of writing that enriches our experience of reading both the classics and the best modern fiction. Evoking the marvelous, the famous, and the irreverent, he reveals the challenges that even the greatest writers faced--and shows us how they surmounted them. Praise for How to Write Like Tolstoy "The highest compliment one can pay How to Write Like Tolstoy is that it provokes an overwhelming urge to read and write, to be in dialogue or even doomed competition with the greatest creative minds . . . . That Mr. Cohen is an editor, that his love of literature comes in large part from awe in the presence of better writers than he, is no small matter. His love is infectious, and regardless of how well he ends up teaching us to write, that is miracle enough."--Wall Street Journal "[A] perfect tasting menu . . . the homage of a passionate reader to the writers who have provided his 'main pastime.' "--The Sunday Times (U.K.) "This book is a wry, critical friend to both writer and reader. It is filled with cogent examples and provoking statements. You will agree or quarrel with each page, and be a sharper writer and reader by the end."--Hilary Mantel "These twelve essays are like twelve perfect university lectures on the craft of writing fiction. The professor--or, in this case, author--succeeds in being not only knowledgeable but also interesting, charming, and engaging."--Library Journal (starred review) "Insightful . . . [Cohen] escorts his readers to Iris Murdoch for sage counsel on launching a novel, to Salman Rushdie for shrewd guidance on developing an unreliable narrator, to Rudyard Kipling for a cagey hint on creating memorable minor characters, and to Leo Tolstoy for a master's help in transforming personal experience into fictional art."--Booklist
|Author||: Richard Cohen|
|Editor||: Random House|
For anyone who has ever identified with a hero or heroine, been seduced by a strong opening sentence, or been powerfully moved by a story’s end, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a thought-provoking journey inside the minds of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, from Shakespeare to Stephen King. “I have tried, as far as possible using the words of the authors themselves, to explain their craft, aiming to take readers on a journey into the concerns, techniques, tricks, flaws, and, occasionally, obsessions of our most luminous writers.”—from the Preface Behind every acclaimed work of literature is a trove of heartfelt decisions. The best authors put painstaking—sometimes obsessive—effort into each element of their stories, from plot and character development to dialogue and point of view. What made Nabokov choose the name Lolita? Why did Fitzgerald use first-person narration in The Great Gatsby? How did Kerouac, who raged against revision, finally come to revise On the Road? Veteran editor and teacher Richard Cohen draws on his vast reservoir of a lifetime’s reading and his insight into what makes good prose soar. Here are Gabriel García Márquez’s thoughts on how to start a novel (“In the first paragraph you solve most of the problems with your book”); Virginia Woolf offering her definition of style (“It is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can’t use the wrong words”); and Vladimir Nabokov on the nature of fiction (“All great novels are great fairy tales”). Cohen has researched the published works and private utterances of our greatest authors to discover the elements that made their prose memorable. The result is a unique exploration of the act and art of writing that enriches our experience of reading both the classics and the best modern fiction. Evoking the marvelous, the famous, and the irreverent, he reveals the challenges that even the greatest writers faced—and shows us how they surmounted them. Praise for How to Write Like Tolstoy “The highest compliment one can pay How to Write Like Tolstoy is that it provokes an overwhelming urge to read and write, to be in dialogue or even doomed competition with the greatest creative minds . . . . That Mr. Cohen is an editor, that his love of literature comes in large part from awe in the presence of better writers than he, is no small matter. His love is infectious, and regardless of how well he ends up teaching us to write, that is miracle enough.”—Wall Street Journal “[A] perfect tasting menu . . . the homage of a passionate reader to the writers who have provided his ‘main pastime.’ ”—The Sunday Times (U.K.) “This book is a wry, critical friend to both writer and reader. It is filled with cogent examples and provoking statements. You will agree or quarrel with each page, and be a sharper writer and reader by the end.”—Hilary Mantel “These twelve essays are like twelve perfect university lectures on the craft of writing fiction. The professor—or, in this case, author—succeeds in being not only knowledgeable but also interesting, charming, and engaging.”—Library Journal (starred review) “Insightful . . . [Cohen] escorts his readers to Iris Murdoch for sage counsel on launching a novel, to Salman Rushdie for shrewd guidance on developing an unreliable narrator, to Rudyard Kipling for a cagey hint on creating memorable minor characters, and to Leo Tolstoy for a master’s help in transforming personal experience into fictional art.”—Booklist
|Author||: Anton Chekhov|
|Editor||: Da Capo Press|
Maxim Gorky said that no one understood “the tragedy of life's trivialities” as clearly as Anton Chekhov, widely considered the father of the modern short story and the modern play. Chekhov's singular ability to speak volumes with a single, impeccably chosen word, mesh comedy and pathos, and capture life's basic sadness as he entertains us, are why so many aspire to emulate him. How to Write Like Chekhov meticulously cherry-picks from Chekhov's plays, stories, and letters to his publisher, brother, and friends, offering suggestions and observations on subjects including plot and characters (and their names), descriptions and dialogue, and what to emphasize and avoid. This is a uniquely clear roadmap to Chekhov's intelligence and artistic expertise and an essential addition to the writing-guide shelf.
|Author||: Richard Cohen|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
The Sun is so powerful, so much bigger than us, that it is a terrifying subject. Yet though we depend on it, we take it for granted. Amazingly the first book of its kind, CHASING THE SUNis a cultural and scientific history of our relationship with the star that gives us life. Richard Cohen, applying the same mix of wide-ranging reference and intimate detail that won outstanding reviews for By the Sword, travels from the ancient Greek astronomers to modern-day solar scientists, from Stonehenge to Antarctica (site of the solar eclipse of 2003, when penguins were said to sing), Mexico's Aztecs to the Norwegian city of Tromso, where for two months of the year there is no Sun at all. He introduces us to the crucial 'sunspot cycle' in modern economics, the religious dances of Indian tribesmen, the histories of sundials and calendars, the plight of migrating birds, the latest theories of global warming, and Galileo recording his discoveries in code, for fear of persecution. And throughout, there is the rich Sun literature -- from the writings of Homer through Dante and Nietzsche to Keats, Shelley and beyond. Blindingly impressive and hugely readable, this is a tour de force of narrative non-fiction.
|Author||: Rosamund Bartlett|
This biography of the brilliant author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina “should become the first resort for everyone drawn to its titanic subject” (Booklist, starred review). In November 1910, Count Lev Tolstoy died at a remote Russian railway station. At the time of his death, he was the most famous man in Russia, more revered than the tsar, with a growing international following. Born into an aristocratic family, Tolstoy spent his existence rebelling against not only conventional ideas about literature and art but also traditional education, family life, organized religion, and the state. In “an epic biography that does justice to an epic figure,” Rosamund Bartlett draws extensively on key Russian sources, including fascinating material that has only become available since the collapse of the Soviet Union (Library Journal, starred review). She sheds light on Tolstoy’s remarkable journey from callow youth to writer to prophet; discusses his troubled relationship with his wife, Sonya; and vividly evokes the Russian landscapes Tolstoy so loved and the turbulent times in which he lived.
|Author||: Francine Prose|
|Editor||: Union Books|
DIV In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humour and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart – to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; to look to John le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue and to Flannery O’Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail; to be inspired by Emily Brontë’s structural nuance and Charles Dickens’s deceptively simple narrative techniques. Most importantly, Prose cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted, and reminds us that good writing comes out of good reading. /div
|Author||: Jon J Muth|
|Editor||: Scholastic Inc.|
What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Nikolai knows that he wants to be the best person he can be, but often he is unsure if he is doing the right thing. So he goes to ask Leo, the wise turtle. When he arrives, the turtle is struggling to dig in his garden, and Nikolai rushes to help him. As he finishes work, a violent storm rolls in. Nikolai runs for Leo's cottage, but on his way, he hears cries for help from an injured panda. Nikolai brings her in from the cold, and then rushes back outside to rescue her baby too.
|Author||: Leo Tolstoy|
|Editor||: Xist Publishing|
Tolstoy's Final Novel “It was clear that everything considered important and good was insignificant and repulsive, and that all this glamour and luxury hid the old well-known crimes, which not only remained unpunished but were adorned with all the splendor men can devise.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection A nobleman seeks to right a past sin and discovers he's been living in a golden world of privilege. When he visits the prison where his former maid has been sentenced, he is awakened to a world of oppression, injustice and barbarity. Resurrection is not Tolstoy's most famous novel, but it was his best-selling book. This Xist Classics edition has been professionally formatted for e-readers with a linked table of contents. This eBook also contains a bonus book club leadership guide and discussion questions. We hope you’ll share this book with your friends, neighbors and colleagues and can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. Xist Publishing is a digital-first publisher. Xist Publishing creates books for the touchscreen generation and is dedicated to helping everyone develop a lifetime love of reading, no matter what form it takes
|Author||: Cathy Porter|
|Editor||: Harper Collins|
“[A] testament to a great spirit, a woman who lived in terrifying proximity to one of the greatest writers of all time, and who understood exactly the high price she would have to pay for this privilege.” —Jay Parini, author of The Last Station Translated by Cathy Porter and with an introduction by Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy chronicles in extraordinary detail the diarist’s remarkable marriage to the legendary man of letters, Count Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Set against the backdrop of Russia’s turbulent history at the turn of the 20th century, The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy offers a fascinating look at a remarkable era, a complicated artist, and the extraordinary woman who stood at his side.
|Author||: George Saunders|
|Editor||: Random House|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the Booker Prize–winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves—and our world today. “One of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I’ve ever read.”—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. In his introduction, Saunders writes, “We’re going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn’t fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art—namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
|Author||: Leo Tolstoy|
|Editor||: Courier Corporation|
This poignant text describes Tolstoy's heartfelt reexamination of Christian orthodoxy and subsequent spiritual awakening. Generations of readers have been inspired by this timeless account of one man's struggle for faith and meaning in life.
|Author||: Kathryn Ormsbee|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
From the author of Lucky Few comes a “refreshing” (Booklist, starred review) teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top! After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral. Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr gifs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever. And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual. Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?
|Author||: Nina Sankovitch|
|Editor||: Harper Collins|
“NinaSankovitch has crafted a dazzling memoir that remindsus of the most primal function of literature-to heal, to nurture and to connectus to our truest selves." —Thrity Umrigar, author of The Space Between Us Catalyzedby the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a greatbook every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition ofGretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Joan Dideon’sA Year of Magical Thinking, Nina Sankovitch’ssoul-baring and literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss,hope, and redemption. Nina ultimately turns to reading as therapy andthrough her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim ourlives.
|Author||: George Steiner|
|Editor||: Faber & Faber|
George Steiner's Tolstoy or Dostoevsky has become a classic among scholars of Russian literature. An essay in poetic and philosophic criticism that bears mainly on the Russian masters, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky deals also with larger themes: the epic tradition extending from Homer to Tolstoy; the continuity of a "tragic world view" from Oedipus Rex to King Lear and The Brothers Karamazov; the contrasts between the epic and dramatic modes, between irreconcilably opposed views of God and of history.
|Author||: Sol Stein|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
Each year thousands of fiction writers, from beginners to bestselling author, benefit from Sol Stein's sold-out workshops, featured appearances at writers' conferences, software for writers, on-line columns, and his popular first book for writers, Stein on Writing. Stein practices what he teaches: He is the author of nine novels, including the million-copy bestseller The Magician, as well as editor of such major writers as James Baldwin, Jack Higgins, Elia Kazan, Budd Schulberg, W. H. Auden, and Jacques Barzun, and the teacher and editor of several current bestselling authors. What sets Stein apart is his practical approach. He provides specific techniques that speed writers to successful publication. How to Grow a Novel is not just a book, but an invaluable workshop in print. It includes details and examples from Stein's editorial work with a #1 bestselling novelist as well as talented newcomers. Stein takes the reader backstage in the development of memorable characters and fascinating plots. The chapter on dialogue overflows with solutions for short-story writers, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights. Stein shows what readers are looking for-- and what they avoid-- in the experience of reading fiction. The book offers guidelines-- and warnings-- of special value for nonfiction writers who want to move into fiction. Stein points to the little, often overlooked things that damage the writer's authority without the writer knowing it. And this book, like no other writing book, takes the reader behind the scenes of the publishing business as it affects writers of every level of experience, revealing the hard truths that are kept behind shut doors.
|Author||: Bob Blaisdell|
|Editor||: Pegasus Books|
Anna Karenina is one of the most nuanced characters in world literature and we return to her, and the novel she propels, again and again. Remarkably, there has not yet been an examination of Leo Tolstoy specifically through the lens of this novel. Critic and professor Bob Blaisdell unravels Tolstoy’s family, literary, and day-to-day life during the period that he conceived, drafted, abandoned, and revised Anna Karenina. In the process, we see where Tolstoy’s life and his art intersect in obvious and unobvious ways. Readers often assume that Tolstoy, a nobleman-turned-mystic would write himself into the principled Levin. But in truth, it is within Anna that the consciousness and energy flows with the same depth and complexities as Tolstoy. Her fateful suicide is the road that Tolstoy nearly traveled himself. At once a nuanced biography and portrait of the last decades of the Russian empire and artful literary examination, Creating Anna Karenina will enthrall the thousands of readers whose lives have become deeper and clearer after experiencing this hallmark of world literature.
|Author||: Jay Parini|
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE Starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, & James McAvoy In 1910, Count Leo Tolstoy, the most famous writer in the world, is caught in the struggle between his devoted wife and an equally devoted acolyte over the master's legacy. Sofya Andreyevna fears that she and the children she has borne Tolstoy will lose all to Vladimir Chertkov and the Tolstoyan movement, which preaches the ideals of poverty, chastity, and pacifism. As Tolstoy seeks peace in his final days, Valentin Bulgakov is hired to be his secretary and enlisted as a spy by both camps. But Valentin's loyalty is to the great man, who in turn recognizes in the young idealist his own youthful struggle with worldly passions. Deftly moving among a colorful cast of characters, drawing on the writings of the people on whom they are based, Jay Parini has created a stunning portrait of an enduring genius and a deeply affecting novel.
|Author||: graf Leo Tolstoy|
|Editor||: New York, W. S. Gottsberger|
WE were in mourning for our mother, who had died the preceding autumn, and we had spent all the winter alone in the country-Macha, Sonia and I. Macha was an old family friend, who had been our governess and had brought us all up, and my memories of her, like my love for her, went as far back as my memories of myself. Sonia was my younger sister. The winter had dragged by, sad and sombre, in our old country-house of Pokrovski. The weather had been cold, and so windy that the snow was often piled high above our windows; the panes were almost always cloudy with a coating of ice; and throughout the whole season we were shut in, rarely finding it possible to go out of the house. It was very seldom that any one came to see us, and our few visitors brought neither joy nor cheerfulness to our house. They all had mournful faces, spoke low, as if they were afraid of waking some one, were careful not to laugh, sighed and often shed tears when they looked at me, and above all at the sight of my poor Sonia in her little black frock.
|Author||: Joe Fassler|
A stunning masterclass on the creative process, the craft of writing, and the art of finding inspiration from Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Roxane Gay, Neil Gaiman, and more of the most acclaimed writers at work today "For artists in need of a creative fix, Light the Dark is as good as a visit from the divine muse." -Bookpage What inspires you? That's the simple, but profound question posed to forty-six renowned authors in LIGHT THE DARK. Each writer begins with a favorite passage from a novel, a song, a poem—something that gets them started and keeps them going with the creative work they love. From there, incredible lessons and stories of life-changing encounters with art emerge, like how sneaking books into his job as a night security guard helped Khaled Hosseini learn that nothing he creates will ever be truly finished. Or how a college reading assignment taught Junot Díaz that great art can be a healing conversation, and an unexpected poet led Elizabeth Gilbert to embrace an unyielding optimism, even in the face of darkness. LIGHT THE DARK collects the best of The Atlantic's much-acclaimed "By Heart" series edited by Joe Fassler and adds brand new pieces, each one paired with a striking illustration. Here is a guide to creative living and writing in the vein of Daily Rituals, Bird by Bird, Draft No. 4, and Big Magic for anyone who wants to learn how great writers find inspiration—and to find some of your own. CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Elizabeth Gilbert, Junot Díaz, Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Aimee Bender, Mary Gaitskill, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Roxane Gay, Angela Flournoy, Jonathan Franzen, Yiyun Li, Leslie Jamison, Claire Messud, Edwidge Danticat, David Mitchell, Khaled Hosseini, Ayana Mathis, Kathryn Harrison, Azar Nafisi, Hanya Yanagihara, Jane Smiley, Nell Zink, Emma Donoghue, Jeff Tweedy, Eileen Myles, Maggie Shipstead, Sherman Alexie, Andre Dubus III, Billy Collins, Lev Grossman, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Charles Simic, Jim Shepard, T.C. Boyle, Tom Perrotta, Viet Thanh Nguyen, William Gibson, Mark Haddon, Ethan Canin, Jesse Ball, Jim Crace, and Walter Mosley. "As [these authors] reveal what inspires them, they, in turn, inspire the reader, all while celebrating the beauty and purpose of art." -Booklist