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In (Don't) Stop Me If You've Heard This Before, Peter Turchi combines personal narrative and close reading of a wide range of stories and novels to reveal how writers create the fiction that matters to us. Building on his much-loved Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, Turchi leads readers and writers to an understanding of how the intricate mechanics of storytelling--including shifts in characters' authority, the subtle manipulation of images, careful attention to point of view, the strategic release of information, and even digressing from the (apparent) story--can create powerful effects.
Using examples from Dickens, Chekhov, and Salinger, and Twain to more contemporary writers including Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, E. L. Doctorow, Jenny Erpenbeck, Adam Johnson, Mohsin Hamid, Jai Chakrabarti, Yoko Ogawa, Richard Powers, Deborah Eisenberg, Olga Tokarczuk, Rachel Cusk, and Colson Whitehead, Turchi offers illuminating insights into the inner workings of fiction as well as practical advice for writers looking to explore their craft from a fresh angle beyond the fundamentals of character and setting, plot, and scene.
While these essays draw from decades of teaching undergraduate and graduate students, they also speak to writers working on their own. In "Out of the Workshop, into the Laboratory," Turchi discusses how anyone can make the most of discussions of stories or novels in progress, and in "Reading Like a Writer" he provides guidelines for learning from writing you admire. Perhaps best of all, these essays by a writer the Houston Chronicle has called "one of the country's foremost thinkers on the art of writing" are as entertaining as they are edifying, always reminding us of the power and pleasure of storytelling.
Peter Turchi has written and coedited several books on writing fiction, including Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer, A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, and (Don't) Stop Me if You've Heard This Before and Other Essays on Writing Fiction. His stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Story, the Alaska Quarterly Review, Puerto del Sol, and the Colorado Review, among other journals. He has received numerous accolades, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Houston.
Laura Hope-Gill was born in Canada and has lived in the US, Britain, and Australia. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she coordinates the Thomas Wolfe MFA Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University as well as the Narrative Healthcare Program, which she launched in 2013 as a means of extending narrative and poetic writing to improve communication and address moral injury for physicians and patients. She was named the first poet laureate of the Blue Ridge Parkway by the National Park Service in 2010 for her book The Soul Tree. Her two architectural histories of Asheville, Look Up Asheville 1 and 2 (Grateful Steps 2010, 2011) received awards from the North Carolina Society of Historians. She founded the city's multicultural poetry festival, Asheville Wordest, in 2008, which received the first Harlan Gradin Award for Excellence in Public Humanities Programming in 2010. She is an NCArts Fellow for her Creative Nonfiction on deafness. Her memoir, The Deaf Sea Scrolls (in search of a press) explores her journey into deafness through the lens of social justice and listening. In 2021 she cowrote and produced God's Promise at Cockpit Theatre in London, England. Her essays and poems appear in Bellevue Literary Review, North Carolina Literary Review, Missouri Review, Fugue, Parabola, and more. She contributes widely to the medical community through poetry and story workshops. She is currently writing a novel based on her grandmother's experiences in a P.O.W. camp in China during World War 2 and a new memoir about her experiences as a "Pack Sitter," wherein she hosts many dogs in her home and lives among the pack.