Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Staff Recommendations, Week of February14, 2023

Welcome to February and welcome back to the Boswellians weekly recommendations blog. 

This week, Kay Wosewick has a short, sweet write-up for On Writing and Failure: Or, on the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer by Stephen Marche. Kay says: "I am not a writer, and after reading Marche’s astonishingly quotable book, I am very grateful I’m not a writer. If you are or want to become a writer, beware: Marche will give you dozens of pithy reasons why you shouldn’t. But if you insist, Marche helpfully describes exactly what it takes to be a writer. This is a tiny gem!"

At Kay's urging, Chris also read Marche's book, and he recommends it, too! Here's his write-up: "A central (perhaps the central) paradox of the writing life is this: in order to churn out the freest, most generous, truest work possible, the writer must embrace the utter and complete futility of the task of writing. As a writer at the beginning of a new project, I couldn’t ask for a better companion to carry me through the coming, inevitable, necessary days of failure, joy, and frustration. Marche’s essay is such a heartening guide through the writer’s life (of failure). As a reader, Marche’s perspective on the lives, hopes, frustrations, and failures of some all-time greats is nothing short of a marvel. It’s like being able to see into the upside-down of centuries of literature. Any person interested in language, books, stories, and meaning-making will find themselves richer for reading this exceptional little book."

And that's the rec of the week! We'll be back soon with more recommendations, and until then, read on.

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