Content Tagged ‘Richard Todd’

Perils of persona

December 12, 2013 | 11 Comments

Time to call ‘In Cold Blood’ fiction?

February 10, 2013 | 20 Comments

Why Truman Capote’s slippery masterwork keeps making news. Everyone acknowledges that true stories can never be fully known—too many details lack corroboration, too many witnesses disagree about what really happened.—Jane Smiley, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel Reading the excellent new writing book Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction, by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, I was a tad surprised to see Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood extolled on page five for its magisterial opening. Capote’s start is gorgeous, with …

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A slew of new books about writing

January 1, 2013 | 13 Comments

“Most problems in writing are structural, even on the scale of the page. Something isn’t flowing properly. The logic or the dramatic logic is off.”—Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction, by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd As the owner of an entire bookcase crammed with writing manuals dating back to the 1940s, Dad’s as well as mine that begin in the 1970s, I’m leery of new acquisitions. Rearranging my books earlier this winter, I thought, “I should at least reread …

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Review: ‘The Thing Itself’

November 1, 2008 | 3 Comments

The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity by Richard Todd. Riverhead. 272 pages. &16.47 Probing inner truth in this edgy moment, Richard Todd finds much that feels inauthentic, empty, drained of meaning. Once executive editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Todd’s been paying attention a long time and he lives in a place reeking with history, western Massachusetts. He wants to know the source of this malaise and why we hunger after authenticity—and what is that, anyway? In our neighborhoods …

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