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William Zinsser (1922–2015)

Author of On Writing Well

31+ Works 9,320 Members 108 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

William Knowlton Zinsser (October 7, 1922 - May 12, 2015) was an American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher. He began his career as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune, where he worked as a feature writer, drama editor, film critic and editorial writer. Throughout the 1970s, show more Zinsser taught writing at Yale University. He wrote 18 books, including On Writing Well, which is in its 17th edition. Zinsser died at the age of 92 in Manhattan on May 12, 2015. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: William Zinsser, author of the classic On Writing Well. Copied from On Memoir, Truth and 'Writing Well'.

Series

Works by William Zinsser

On Writing Well (1976) 6,839 copies
Writing to Learn (1988) 820 copies
Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir (1987) — Editor — 495 copies
Spring Training (1989) 56 copies
The Writer Who Stayed (2012) 40 copies

Associated Works

Russell Baker's Book of American Humor (1993) — Contributor — 210 copies
The Norton Book of Personal Essays (1997) — Contributor — 142 copies
The Writer's Handbook 2005 (2004) — Preface — 46 copies
The Best American Magazine Writing 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 34 copies

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Members

Reviews

A solid look at writing nonfiction (and writing in general) that covers a lot of ground. Zinsser discusses things like word choice, sentence length, and grammar; he also gives tips on specific kinds of nonfiction writing (travel, memoir, business, science, etc.).

The author includes a lot of real-life writing samples to illustrate his points. Some of these are great, and others are boring (even when Zinsser thinks they're great).

The book is a little long for my taste, but there's a lot of good advice here and I'll definitely return to it in the future.

Note: There are a few curse words.
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RachelRachelRachel | 75 other reviews | Nov 21, 2023 |
Useful in that it helped to understand how these successful memoir writers went about their story, their struggles and insights.
 
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Cantsaywhy | 3 other reviews | Sep 23, 2023 |
Specifically about writing nonfiction (principles, techniques + tips for all sorts of non-fiction writing e.g. memoirs, business, sports, art...) . You'll learn:
• The principles and methods for writing well, including how to find your unique voice, simplify your writing, write coherently, choose the right words, use "good" English, start and end well, and polish your writing till it shines.
• How to apply the principles and methods above to all types of non-fiction writing, from sports to travel, memoirs and business writing.
• How to get started on your writing journey and hone your skills as a writer.

Book summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summary-on-writing-well-william-zinsser/
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AngelaLamHF | 75 other reviews | May 30, 2023 |
Good overview of Great American Songbook composers mostly up through about 1980.
 
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kslade | 1 other review | Mar 11, 2023 |

Lists

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Associated Authors

Russell Baker Contributor
Ian Frazier Contributor
Alfred Kazin Contributor
Annie Dillard Contributor
Jill Ker Conway Contributor
Robert A. Caro Contributor
Jean Strouse Contributor
Rosemary Wells Contributor
Katherine Paterson Contributor
Jean Fritz Contributor
Maurice Sendak Contributor
Jack Prelutsky Contributor
Jill Krementz Contributor
Mark Salzman Contributor
Tobias Schneebaum Contributor
Andrea Lee Contributor
Vivian Gornick Contributor
Calvin Trillin Contributor
Charles McCarry Contributor
Marge Piercy Contributor
Robert Stone Contributor
Gore Vidal Contributor

Statistics

Works
31
Also by
4
Members
9,320
Popularity
#2,585
Rating
4.1
Reviews
108
ISBNs
97
Languages
4
Favorited
8

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