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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life Paperback – 1 Sept. 1995
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For a quarter century, more than a million readers--scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities--have been inspired by Anne Lamott's hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne's father--also a writer--in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:
"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"
--The New York Times Book Review
"A warm, generous, and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps."
--Los Angeles Times
"One of the funniest books on writing ever published."
--The Christian Science Monitor
"A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write. . . . Sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind--a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing now, while we still can."
"Bird by Bird would be worth reading just for Lamott's ele- gant, moving, and often-hilarious prose. But the advice she offers is just as fantastic as the style with which it's delivered."
"Anne Lamott understands better than anyone that writers need help. . . . She writes so well, in fact, that it's hard to believe that she, too, has trouble with writing. That's what's so deeply comforting about this book."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Deftly and honestly explores the mental challenges of being a writer. . . . Lamott's advice is, simply put, invaluable."
"[Lamott] uses her writing exercises or lessons as a way to help us more deeply understand ourselves and the human condition in all its messiness. If you're looking for sense-making and meaning during this deeply destabilizing time, this book is timeless."
--Elise Hu, TED Talks Daily
"Delight[s] with insight and descriptive acumen. This humorous, insightful, no-nonsense approach will remind novices why they are writing."
"Offers unique inspiration. . . . An honest appraisal of what it takes to be a writer and why it matters so much."
From the Back Cover
- Publisher : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Anchor Books ed edition (1 Sept. 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385480016
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385480017
- Dimensions : 13.18 x 1.47 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 14,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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What I loved was not just the understanding and knowledge that spring from every page, but also the great humour and spark of the writing itself. This is a wonderful conversation between the aspiring writer and the old hand who has seen it all but has refused to grow cynical or weary.
Even if you never write a word I would recommend this as a highly entertaining read which will improve you as a reader if nothing else.
I love going back to it and re-reading my highlighted parts because I always understand it differently or it gives me a different idea than it did the first time or second time I read it.
This book will always be relevant and depending at what stage in your writing/life you are, there is different advice to absorb.