Why Write? by Mark Edmundson
A Master Class on the Art of Writing and Why it Matters

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Even though his own books have been fairly well-received, he’s pretty harsh on book reviewers. Those critics who are wannabe writers will sometimes “clasp your book in their hands, embrace it, and then slap you across the face.” This has been done better by others, but it’s never a bad thing to encourage reading and writing.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From one of America's great professors, author of Why Teach? and Why Read?--an inspiring study of the importance of writing well, for creators, educators, students, and anyone who writes.

Why write?

Why write when it sometimes feels that so few people really read--read as if their lives might be changed by what they're reading? Why write, when the world wants to be informed, not enlightened; to be entertained, not inspired? Writing is backbreaking, mind-breaking, lonely work. So why?

Because writing, as celebrated professor Mark Edmundson explains, is one of the greatest human goods. Real writing can do what critic R. P. Blackmur said it could: add to the stock of available reality. Writing teaches us to think; it can bring our minds to birth. And once we're at home with words, there are few more pleasurable human activities than writing. Because this is something he believes everyone ought to know, Edmundson offers us Why Write?, essential reading--both practical and inspiring--for anyone who yearns to be a writer, anyone who simply needs to know how to get an idea across, and anyone in between--in short, everyone.
 

About Mark Edmundson

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Mark Edmundson teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is University Professor. A prizewinning scholar, he is also the author of Why Teach?, Why Read?, Teacher, The Death of Sigmund Freud, and The Fine Wisdom and Perfect Teachings of the Kings of Rock and Roll. His writing has appeared in such publications as the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Nation, the American Scholar, Raritan, and Harper’s. He lives in Batesville, Virginia.
 
Published August 30, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA. 270 pages
Genres: Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Why Write?
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on May 18 2016

Even though his own books have been fairly well-received, he’s pretty harsh on book reviewers. Those critics who are wannabe writers will sometimes “clasp your book in their hands, embrace it, and then slap you across the face.” This has been done better by others, but it’s never a bad thing to encourage reading and writing.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Jun 24 2017

Though the prose is easy to read, chatty, and sometimes amusing, the book’s unexamined Western-centric perspective may leave some readers feeling that Edmundson’s message doesn’t apply to them.

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