I wanted to talk about my favorite books on writing. Every author has her go-to's for inspiration and help, and here are mine.
How can one live without Joanna Russ's How to Suppress Women's Writing?
People love to denigrate our genre. This book gives an insightful and quirky look at how much and how little attitudes towards women's words have changed. It taught me just what kinds of horrible internalized sexism colored what I wrote, how I viewed other women, and worst of all, what I did to myself.
Making a Literary Life by Elizabeth See.
A far greater writer than I'll ever be says this:
If everyone who wants to be a writer would read this book there would be many more good writers, many more happy writers, and editors would be so overwhelmed by sweetness they would accept many more good books. So what are you waiting for? Read it! Ursula K. Le Guin
Write Away by Elizabeth George.
From Publisher's Weekly:
Here's a useful book for the novice writer battling the fears and insecurities that attend when she contemplates her first novel....George illustrates her points with passages from both her ownworks and those of numerous writers she admires (Martin Cruz Smith,Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris), this remains more of a how-I-do-it book than a how-to-do-it book. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Unlike PW, I'll say that this book is good even for experienced writers. I love her examples - they illustrate her points brilliantly.
I feel that the most important book on my shelf remains Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller. I'm not going to kid you - this is a painful and devastating book, whether you have been a victim of sexual assault or not. But it endlessly reminds me of what I feel is the great gift that romance gives every reader: That her pleasure is central to life, that her consent should never dismissed or belittled, and that each of us deserves to be heard.