Saturday, January 03, 2009

Recommended Reading on the Writer's Craft

Here is the recommended reading list from Professor Brooks Landon, who teaches the writing course in the previous blog entry:

Virginia Tufte, Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style
Easily the best book on sentence style currently—or for that matter probably ever—in print. This book is indispensable for the serious student of the sentence. Not only does it contain much wisdom about writing sentences, but it also contains the best collection of striking individual sentences ever assembled.
Richard A. Lanham, Style: An Anti-Textbook
A must read for anyone interested in prose style, in the teaching of writing, or just in the writing in the world around us. This is Lanham’s argument that the stress on clarity in American writing instruction has largely worked to banish pleasure from writing.
John Trimble, Writing With Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing
This wonderful little writing guide has been reprinted more than 20 times since it was first published, and the reason for its popularity is clear: it offers wonderful, clear, easy-to-use advice.
Edgar H. Schuster, Breaking the Rules: Liberating Writers Through Innovative Grammar Instruction
This book confirms what we've all along suspected—that many of the "rules" concerning writing are pure hooey!
Matthew Clark, A Matter of Style: On Writing and Technique
A contemporary look at style by a classics professor, it retains much of the feel of older approaches to style, going back to Aristotle.
Richard A. Lanham, A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms
The authoritative contemporary look at the schemes and devices of classical rhetoric.
Jay David Bolter, Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext and the History of Writing
The pioneering introduction to the ways in which electyronic textuality—writing made possible by computers—changes our understanding of writing in ways no less sweeping than did the invention of the printing press.
William H. Gass, A Temple of Texts
This collection of William Gass's essays is a stunning introduction to the possibilities and power of prose style.
John D’Agata, ed., The Next American Essay
The essay has been rapidly evolving in recent years and now takes forms many will have trouble recognizing as essays. This forward-looking collection shows where the essay is going, not just where it has been.