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Book Review!

Book Review!

Conversations on Writing 

By Ursula K. Le Guin and David Naimon

For those of you looking for a book about writing that not only talks shop, but pulls you in a more contemplative direction, check out Ursula Le Guin’s Conversations on Writing with David Naimon. 

The content of the book originally aired on KBOO 90.7’s Between the Covers as a series of conversations between Ursula Le Guin and David Naimon on fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Sadly Ursula passed away before the printed version was released, but she was very involved in the final edits.

Conversations on Writing is a beautifully bound little book, full of Le Guin’s takes on subjects ranging from the skeleton of sentences and misguided grammar bullies to Taoism.  Also, for those of you just starting out, she reflects a little on her own hard start,

“…it seems to be useful for me, now at the end of my career, to tell people some of what I went through.  It feels sort of egoistic, but it may be of real interest and value to know of the setbacks and awful self-doubts that I think most writers go through.  More than most artists, maybe because they work so much in solitude, writers tend to self-doubt.  And getting published is a formidable barrier…the fact is, I was committed to being a writer, to my writing, and I had a self-confidence or arrogance that carried me through. ‘I am going to do it, and I’m going to do it my way.’ I stuck to that.  And bang, I finally broke through.” (48)  

Ursula K. Le Guin shares a lot of herself in this gem of a book… some of it startling, all of it thought-provoking and from the heart.  

-Meredith Crandall Brown

Meredith Crandall Brown is an author/illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.  Discover more of her artwork on Instagram @crandallbrown and at www.crandallbrown.com.


Conversations on Writing 

By Ursula K. Le Guin and David Naimon

138 pp. Tin House Books. $14.95.

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