Reading and Writing

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So, you want to write the great American novel, or read the greats again with a more knowing eye? Francine Prose is your guru and guide.

A dozen novels into her own enviable career, she says the secret to great writing is great reading and its inspirations. Homer for plot. Samuel Johnson for the lucid sentence. Flannery O'Connor for the word that makes all the difference. Virginia Woolf and Hemingway and Tim O'Brien for virtuosity. Chekhov for unworldly knowing.

For the aspiring writer, or the reader who wants it all, Francine Prose's written the roadmap to riches.

Hear a conversation with Francine Prose about cracking the great books to read like a writer.

Quotes from the Show:

"Instead of looking at works and point out what is wrong with them, why not look at brilliant works and see how they did it." Francine Prose

"Writing can not be taught but learned, and most writers including myself learned by reading." Francine Prose


Francine Prose, novelist, essayist and literary critic. She's taught literature and writing for more than twenty years and is the author of fourteen books of fiction including "A Changed Man" and "Blue Angel." Her new book is "Reading Like A Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them."

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and Senior Editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on March 22, 2007.


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