On Becoming a Novelist

On Becoming a Novelist Cover

On Becoming a Novelist

By John Gardner; Raymond Carver (Foreword by)

W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393320039, 150pp.

Publication Date: October 17, 1999

Description
On Becoming a Novelist contains the wisdom accumulated during John Gardner's distinguished twenty-year career as a fiction writer and creative writing teacher. With elegance, humor, and sophistication, Gardner describes the life of a working novelist; warns what needs to be guarded against, both from within the writer and from without; and predicts what the writer can reasonably expect and what, in general, he or she cannot. "For a certain kind of person," Gardner writes, "nothing is more joyful or satisfying than the life of a novelist." But no other vocation, he is quick to add, is so fraught with professional and spiritual difficulties. Whether discussing the supposed value of writer's workshops, explaining the role of the novelist's agent and editor, or railing against the seductive fruits of literary elitism, On Becoming a Novelist is an indispensable, life-affirming handbook for anyone authentically called to the profession. "A miraculously detailed account of the creative process." Anne Tyler, Baltimore Sun.


About the Author
John Gardner is Professor of English at Southern Illinois University. His previous books include a modernized English version of "The Complete Works of the Gawain-Poet "and a recently published novel, "The Wreckage of Agathon."


Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. One of the great American writers and poets of the late twentieth century, his major collections include "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral, " and "Elephant". He passed away in 1988.