According to critics, I’ve written:
A Sizzling Summer Beach Read: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25280915/
[F]irst-rate satire…not even the mean-spirited sniper can find anything evil to say about the endearing Amy, whose quirky Web site (called “Go Away”) is a gold mine of literary nuggets: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/books/review/Crime-t.html?_r=1&ref=books&oref=slogin
A Killer Murder Mystery: http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/entertainment-0/1214037020320080.xml&coll=2
Not Your Usual Murder Mystery: http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23889208-5003424,00.html
[A] black comedy about an adult-ed class gone bad. The Writing Classis an old-fashioned locked-door mystery in which strangers are trapped in a classroom with a sociopath in their midst. http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/the_arts/a_killer_in_the_classroom_2111.html
A Fall-off-your-chair-funny, Yet Gently Sad Murder Mystery: http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/murder_and_other_bad_behavior/7015/
A Delicious Satire Savag[ing] Every Literary Pretension Imaginable: http://www.miamiherald.com/tropical_life/story/552534.html
An Engaging and Very Funny Novel about a Diverse Group of People Learning to Write: Canberra Times, 5/7/2008
A Clever Page-Turner: Australian Women’s Weekly, July, 2008
A Darkly Comic Murder Mystery: Sydney Daily Telegraph, 6/28/2008
A Readable and Entertaining Mystery but it’s also more than that. It explores, albeit lightly, the underbelly of the writing world: http://www.smh.com.au/news/book-reviews/the-writing-class/2008/07/18/1216163140461.html
A Dark Comedy of the Absurd [and] Damn Fine Guide to Writing Fiction: (Publishers Weekly) http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Writing-Class/Jincy-Willett/e/9780312330668/?itm=2#TABS
A Murder Mystery Written by Someone Who Maybe Doesn’t Like, and Definitely Doesn’t Understand, Murder Mysteries: (Snarkus Kirkus Reviews) http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Writing-Class/Jincy-Willett/e/9780312330668/?itm=2#TABS
Mystery! Mayhem!: http://www.dailycandy.com/chicago/article/36539/All+the+Worlds+a+Page
A Marvelous Toy of a Book, Full of Wry Surprises and Sly Twists: Booklist Magazine (ALA), May 2008
A BookSense Pick: http://www.booksense.com/bspicks/June08.jsp
A Darkly Comic Mystery: http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/media/San-Diego-Magazine/June-2008/Calendar/
[with] Zany Humor…Blended with Intelligence and Empathy for People Worth Knowing, at Least in a Book: http://www.projo.com/books/content/BOOK-WRITING-CLASS__06-22-08_CHA5VBE_v9.1109902.html
[following] the Same Advice that Innumerable Writing Teachers Give: Write What You Know: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20080622-9999-1a22willett.html
A Kooky and Spooky Whodunit: http://www.straight.com/article-151100/the-writing-class\
What’s Hot in the Media: http://www.booksellerandpublisher.com.au/articles/2008/07/08778
A Terrifically Engrossing Page-turner, a Comic Thriller that is Likely to be One of the Great Reads of the Summer of 2008: http://www.buffalonews.com:80/entertainment/booksliterature/story/386144.html
The Most Profound Contribution to Western Letters since the Gutenburg Bible: http://www.jincywillett.com/journal/
It’s a continuing-ed comedy, it’s insightful about aging and the looming end of hope, it’s a book about writing, it’s…well, if not superbook, one of the best books I’ve read about writing and a darn good mystery, too. Someday I hope I can construct a plot, weave characters, and tell a story as well.
Thanks! I especially appreciate “continuing-ed comedy,” of which I hope many more emerge. Talk about a fertile field…
Dear Ms. Willet,
Sorry for the brown-nose fest, but your writing is like crack, if crack were nutritious. I just read two of your books this week, and I feel the desperate need to tell you how stimulating I found them. I guess this is what happens when you list your website address in your publications…
I re-read National Book Award and was again totally absorbed in the complex dynamics between the characters. I’m particularly interested in power structures and how they shift, the idea of twinning/reflection/Echo and Narcissus myth, and feedback loops (resulting from over-reflection?), voyeurism and exhibitionism, in art as well as relationships. Your book dealt with these topics (in my interpretation, anyway) in a rich, complicated, excellently problematic way.
I also just wolfed down your new book. This must be how binge-eaters feel after devouring everything in the refrigerator. I know a lot went in, but it’s still digesting and I feel some gas coming on. Anyway, I loved reading about artistic process and teaching in a mystery setting! I’m a relatively new art professor and an artist, so it was extra-fun for me.
OK. Sorry if I’ve talked your danged ear off. Thanks for being you.
Good luck with the gas, and thanks for the kind words.
Dammit! I’ve been reading THE WRITING CLASS for two days without stopping (except to eat, of course, and other minor inconveniences) and finally finished it and now I’m mad that I’m finished.
I wish I could write something witty here that would distinguish me from all other run-of-the-mill blogger kibbutzers, but unfortunately I just ate a bunch of chocolate and have brain fungus and have to go pick up my son at preschool, so I guess I’ll just order you 57 personal pan pizzas and be done with it.
Make them tomato pies. I hate that cheese.
Hey- did you ever start writing a book and then struggle with point of view? I usually don’t have a problem with this…it usually is obvious which way it should go…but I’ve just started this story and I just keep wrestling with the right way for it to be told. Oh, by the way and appropos of nothing, have you read Chris Moore? (A Dirty Job, Lamb).
Tomato pies in transit. Transcendentally.
The Writing Class is one of the most enjoyable and delicious reads this year, if not ever. Way to go!
Eater of kebabs in sixties’ Waterville (The Majestic, the Bob-In) and sneerer at shrinks in Bangor, I read TWC in a day. How could I not?
Of course, (I’m a writer, I’m a teacher of writing, I’m a mystery addict) it had more going for it than mere local color!
Laura–Usually p.o.v. emerges clearly after a while. It’s a matter, generally about how much distance we want from each character (as well as how many constraints a single p.o.v. will place on story and language, etc.). But then you know that!
John–Colby? I bombed out of there in 1966. I do remember the Syrian sandwiches, though, and the golden days of routine hitchhiking between town and gown without ending up headless in a ravine. And snow. Now that I think of it, I miss the joint…
Thanks for the response, Jincy. It’s becoming clearer as I work it. Chris told me you were at the Claire’s gig…sorry I missed you! I was in Riverside talking to six people at a book signing who really came for the cookies.
Thank you very much for writing “The Writing Class” – it was wonderful for me to read. Most of the time I have a hard time getting into books – usually because of the characters and the writer’s attitudes toward them, which are sometimes much different from mine – but with “The Writing Class,” I was impatient to turn the page, to read what happens next. I was honestly upset when bad things happened to good characters (or even not-so-good characters) because you had made them so human.
I don’t know if you see yourself as Amy Gallup – if you do, then I hope you don’t despise her. I think there are a lot of Amy Gallups out in the world, and we need more written about them. There are far too many books about Tiffany, and while she’s a great co-star, the real scenes belong to the Carlas, the Ednas, the Dots and of course, the Amys.
I only just heard about The Writing Class two months ago (and it only occurred to me today that you would actually have a blog) and I was complaining that exciting information like the fact that you have a new book should probably just be beamed into my brain automatically. Unfortunately it wasn’t, but fortunately the book was amazing! I can’t wait to pass it on to someone else. And I can’t wait to read your next book!