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Writing Class

         A book of many genres and none. In it the author describes his often painful personal apprenticeship to the business of creative writing, his journey of self-discovery, and his successes and failures. Outspoken and honest, it gives no false encouragement to those contemplating authorship, and yet conveys the satisfactions and fulfilment pursuing such an ambition can bring. He illustrates his odyssey with examples of his own work – short stories, class exercises, poetry, essays, press articles, memoirs – but inevitably cannot, for reasons of length, include extracts from the novels he ranks as the principal reason which led him to write in the first place (all available from Narcissus).

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      Inevitably then, a miscellany, which features, among others, comedy, satire, tragedy, romance, science fiction, literary theory, philosophy, and experiment, some of it published, some not, and it is this unstructured mixture which explains the derisive description he has coined – ‘a self-indulgence’. Nevertheless, readers contemplating a writing career will benefit from a friendly, fascinating and above all entertaining insight into its problems and rewards, as well as a yardstick against which novices may measure their talents. They are not lectured, or overtly instructed, but are able to gather invaluable information in the best way possible, by comparison and reflection, arriving at the only assessment of their abilities they can – or ought to – trust: their own. A unique book.

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