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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Writing a First Novel

Reflections on the Journey

ISBN 9780230290822
Publication Date January 2014
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

In this inspiring collection of essays, a range of award-winning, established and newly published writers offer highly personal accounts of their creative processes. Authors reveal the anxieties, considerations and discoveries that shaped their own first novels, arming new writers with practical advice, focus and inspiration. The book's final section presents the perspectives of an agent, a publisher and an author on the business of publishing a first novel.
 
Writing a First Novel offers an illuminating read for both aspiring and seasoned writers. It contains contributions by:
 
- Hanif Kureishi
- Valerie Martin
- Johanna Skibsrud
- David Vann
- Maile Chapman
- Edward Hogan
- Kishwar Desai
- Wena Poon
- Alison MacLeod
- Andrew Cowan
- Jane Rusbridge
- Isabel Ashdown
- Helon Habila
- David Swann
- Soumya Bhattacharya
- Jane Feaver
- Hannah Westland
- Helen Garnons-Williams
- Lionel Shriver

KAREN STEVENS is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, UK.

Acknowledgements
List of Contributors
Introduction; Karen Stevens
PART I: INSPIRATION AND THE NOVEL
Something Given: Reflections on Writing; Hanif Kureishi
Look Back in Angst; Valerie Martin
Illuminating the Shadows: the Space Between Fact and Fiction; Johanna Skibsrud
Genesis; David Vann
PART II: RESEARCH AND THE NOVEL
Treasure, Trash, and Planned Obsolescence; Maile Chapman
Writing Home; Edward Hogan
Walking the Tightrope; Kishwar DesaiThe Reluctant Aficionado; Wena Poon
PART III: VOICE AND THE
NOVEL
Hearing Voices; Alison MacLeod
'This Won't Do': Pig and the Temptation of Silence; Andrew Cowan
Knots and Narrative; Jane Rusbridge
'Voice' and the Inescapable Complexity of Experience; Isabel Ashdown
PART IV: FORM AND THE NOVEL
Giving Shape to One's Universe; Helon Habila
Another Fine Mess; David Swann
Man of Letters; Soumya Bhattacharya
Belief; Jane Feaver
PART V: THE BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING
An Agent's Perspective; Hannah Westland
The Role of the Editor; Helen Garnons-Williams
Baby, You've Got it; Lionel Shriver
Index.

Reviews

According to Karen Stevens, 'writing a novel is the longest and loneliest journey a writer can embark upon'. Her collection of essays by established and new writers splits that journey into four stages: inspiration, research, voice and form. There is also practical advice from a literary agent and an editor who notes honestly that 'chance does play a part' in getting published.' - P.D. Smith, The Guardian
'Seventeen novelists (as well as an agent and a publisher) discuss the development of their first novels, for readers 'who write, want to write, or simply . . . wish to share the experiences of professional writers.' - Times Literary Supplement
'This book is an excellent addition to any discussion on novel writing. Specifically directed toward those working on their first novels, it promises to be an invaluable resource both to new novelists and to their instructors.' - Katharine Coles, The University of Utah, USA
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