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The Writers Quotation Book A Literary Companion

ISBN 0571199208 / 9780571199204 / 0-571-19920-8

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Book summary

"Writers," says James Charlton in the preface to his Writer's Quotation Book, "love quotations. They love quoting someone else's work almost as much as they love quoting their own." What started as a 16-page giveaway in 1979 has been revised and expanded considerably (the book is now divided into over 60 sections) and is now in its fourth edition. Like its many contributors, Charlton's compendium is at turns wise, wry, sincere, and self-deprecating. The effect is that of an expansive club, whose members understand the writer's blank stares out the window, the mocking taunt of a stack of white paper, the rejection dejection, and the glee that comes with first holding in one's hands a book with one's name on it. "You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer," says Margaret Atwood here, "an almost physical nerve, the kind you need to walk a log across a river." --Jane Steinberg [via]