A Piece of Work

A Piece of Work

Five Writers Discuss Their Revisions

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285 pages, 5 photos

"Using insightful interviews with authors and examples of their work in a variety of stages, Jay Woodruff clearly shows how fine writing evolves—through revision."—Lois Rosenthal

"These fine stories, poems, and essays, together with Woodruff's searching interviews of their authors, establish what every editor knows: that revision stimulates vision."—Peter Davison

"Jay Woodruff, a writer himself, has asked sensitive and discerning questions and—best of all—has gotten instructive answers."—C. Michael Curtis

Books on writing generally offer prescriptions and proscriptions about this "craft so hard to learn" instead of evidence. But in A Piece of Work Woodruff's incisive questions guide five writers—Tobias Wolff, Tess Gallagher, Robert Coles, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Hall—through specific examples that enable the reader to see how good writing becomes better. From the first draft through various revisions and finally to the printed version of a single piece of each author's work, Woodruff traces the full course of the revision process.