Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (Excelsior Editions) (Paperback)

Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (Excelsior Editions) Cover Image
By Elizabeth Benedict (Editor)
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In the rich, impassioned essays collected here, thirty of today's brightest literary lights address the question of mentorship and influence, exploring those times in their development as writers when a special person, a beloved book, or a certain job gave them the courage to take a bold chance on their own gifts. For Jane Smiley, the turning point was the support of her fellow classmates--not her teachers--at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop. For Jonathan Safran Foer, it was a brief encounter with Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. For Michael Cunningham, it was an illicit cigarette break with a tough-talking teenage girl at Hollywood High who challenged him to read Virginia Woolf. And for Elizabeth Benedict, inspiration came after writing an essay about her Barnard mentor, Elizabeth Hardwick, after she died in 2007.

In drawing together these essays, Benedict found dozens of writers eager to tell the stories of their own influences. As most of these encounters occurred when the writers were young--unsure of who they were or what they could accomplish--many of these essays radiate a poignant tenderness, and almost all of them express enduring gratitude. Rich, thought-provoking, sometimes funny, and sometimes heartbreaking, these portraits of the artists as young men and women illuminate not only the anxiety but the necessity of influence--and the treasures it yields. Thirty essays--and thirty dazzling paths to creative awakening and literary acclaim.

About the Author

Elizabeth Benedict, a graduate of Barnard College, is the author of five novels, including Almost, The Practice of Deceit, and the National Book Award Finalist Slow Dancing, as well as The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers. A widely published essayist and journalist, she has taught fiction and nonfiction writing at Princeton University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Columbia University, Swarthmore College, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781438443508
ISBN-10: 1438443501
Publisher: Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages: 293
Language: English
Series: Excelsior Editions