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First Words: Earliest Writing from Favorite Contemporary Authors written by Paul Mandelbaum

 

First Words: Earliest Writing from Favorite Contemporary Authors written by Paul Mandelbaum

Overview:


Editor Paul Mandelbaum persuaded twenty-two authors to share their childhood writings and their treasured photographs. What he's collected is a fascinating revelation of young creative minds at work, wrestling with early versions of ideas that were to take hold of their writings in later years.

Of course, the young Michael Crichton would describe what goes on in a dissection lab. Of course, Madeleine L'Engle would wonder about space and the meaning of eternity. Margaret Atwood would questions conventional female behavior, arguing for the right to smoke cigars. And Stephen King would write a macabre story of slicing and piercing at age nine.

First Words is an inspiration to budding writers, encouraging teachers, and just plain readers.

FIRST WORDS features the early works of: Margaret Atwood, Roy Blunt, Jr., Paul Bowles, Pat Conroy, Michael Crichton, Rita Dove, Clyde Edgerton, Gail Godwin, Allan Gurganus, Charles Johnson, Stephen King, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine L'Engle, Jill McCorkle, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, William Styron, Amy Tan, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Tobias Wolf

Asked if they had saved anything they had written as children, 42 writers responded--making a surprising collection from contributors who are still writing. Whimsically designed and accompanied by "then and now" photos, the book includes works by Asimov, Vidal, Updike, Oates, Auchincloss, and many other famour writers.

Synopsis:

Most kid write stories. A few of them grow up to be successful authors. Before Stephen King created Carrie, he created Jhonathan, at age nine. And before there was Rabbit Angstrom, there was Manuel Citarro, detective in John Updike's hard-boiled mystery, written at fourteen. Before Jurassic Park, there was young Michael Crichton's story about the mysteriously wounded man lying unattended in the street.

Editor Paul Mandelbaum persuaded our most popular American authors to share their childhood writings and their treasured photographs. What he's gathered is a fascinating, delightful collection of writing and early snapshots that reveal young minds at work, wrestling with early versions of ideas that were to take hold of their writings in later years. Of course, the young Madeline L'Engle would wonder about space and the meaning of eternity. Of course, Margaret Atwood would question conventional female behavior, arguing for the right to smoke cigars.

First Words is an inspiration to budding writers and enthusiastic teachers, and a revelation for readers everywhere.

This revised and condensed edition includes the following writers:

Margaret Atwood

Roy Blount, Jr.

Paul Bowles

Pat Conroy

Michael Crichton

Rita Dove

Clyde Edgerton

Gail Godwin

Allan Gurganus

Charles Johnson

Stephen King

Maxine Hong Kingston

Ursula LeGuin

Madeleine L'Engle

Jill McCorkle

Norman Mailer

Joyce Carol Oates

William Styron

Amy Tan

John Updike

Gore Vidal

Tobias Wolff

Library Journal

This anthology of juvenilia from 42 of America's most promising writers is valuable chiefly for the light it sheds on the wellsprings of inspiration from which many adult literary works have emerged. Mandelbaum provides a provocative introductory essay on the value of juvenilia, with notes throughout on the connections between an author's childhood writing and his or her later works. Although the reader may not always make the same connections, and although some of the excerpts, such as Vance Bourjaily's Not To Confound My Elders and John Updike's Untitled Mystery seem overly long, the commentary is knowledgeable and the selections highly original. Also, the book features photos of these current American writers, which include best-selling authors (Louis Auchincloss, Stephen King, Michael Crichton), black authors (Charles Johnson, Gloria Naylor), as well as such prominent figures as Isaac Asimov, Joyce Carol Oates, and William Styron. For general readers.-- Marie L. Lally, Alabama Sch . of Mathematics & Science, Mobile

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Title: First Words: Earliest Writing from Favorite Contemporary Authors

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