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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning novelist, philosopher, essayist, screenwriter, professor, and cartoonist, Charles Johnson has devoted his life to creative pursuit. His 1990 National Book Award-winning novel Middle Passage is a modern classic, revered as much for its daring plot as its philosophical underpinnings.

For 33 years Johnson taught and mentored students in the art and craft of creative writing. The Way of the Writer is his record of those years and the coda to a kaleidoscopic, boundary-shattering career. Organized into six accessible, easy-to-navigate sections, The Way of the Writer is both a literary reflection on the creative impulse and a utilitarian guide to the writing process. Johnson shares his lessons and exercises from the classroom, starting with word choice, sentence structure, and narrative voice and delving into the mechanics of scene, dialogue, plot, and storytelling before exploring the larger questions at stake for the serious writer: What separates literature from industrial fiction? What lies at the heart of the creative impulse? How does one navigate the literary world? And how are philosophy and fiction concomitant?

©2016 Charles Johnson (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A meditation on the daily routines and mental habits of a writer...the book radiates warmth...a writer's true education might start in institutions, it seems, but for Johnson it is more a lineage of good, memorable talk." ( New York Times)

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Profile Image for Debra Durrant
  • Debra Durrant
  • 01-27-21

This is not about writing

This book is not what it advertises to be. It teaches next to nothing about writing. It is full of spiritual mumbo jumbo and is an advert for buddhism and martial arts. It is also the author telling us how wonderful he is again and again. He has this award and this degree and PhD and this person and that person told him he was too good to be taught by anyone. Yawn!
He is a also monotone and dull reader. No enthusiasm for his own book.
I would like to swap this book to one worth listening to. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful