Writing About Your Life

A Journey into the Past


By William Zinsser

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An ingeniously constructed teaching memoir from the author of the bestselling On Writing Well — “You learn without knowing it.” (Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes)

Written with elegance, warmth, and humor, this highly original “teaching memoir” by William Zinsser–renowned bestselling author of On Writing Well gives you the tools to organize and recover your past, and the confidence to believe in your life narrative. His method is to take you on a memoir of his own: 13 chapters in which he recalls dramatic, amusing, and often surprising moments in his long and varied life as a writer, editor, teacher, and traveler. Along the way, Zinsser pauses to explain the technical decisions he made as he wrote about his life. They are the same decisions you’ll have to make as you write about your own life: matters of selection, condensation, focus, attitude, voice, and tone.

On Sale
Mar 28, 2005
Page Count
240 pages
Da Capo Press

William Zinsser

About the Author

William Zinsser began his career with the New York Herald Tribune and wrote regularly for leading magazines. His seventeen books, in addition to On Writing Well, include Writing to Learn, American Places, Mitchell & Ruff: An American Profile in Jazz, and Easy to Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs. He taught writing at Yale and at the New School. William Zinsser died in 2015.

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