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Donald McQuade is professor of English and former dean of undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He just finished a term serving as Vice Chancellor-University Relations. A past chair of CCCC, he has directed the writing program at Berkeley and at Queens College, CUNY, and has published widely on American literature, American culture, and composition theory and practice. With Bob Atwan, he is coauthor of The Writer’s Presence (2009).
Robert Atwan is director of The Blue Hills Writing Institute at Curry College and the series editor of the annual Best American Essays, which he founded in 1985. His essays, reviews, and critical articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, River Teeth, and many other publications. For Bedford/St. Martin’s, he has also edited Ten on Ten: Major Essayists on Recurring Themes (1992); Our Times (1998); and Convergences (2009). He has coedited (with Jon Roberts) Left, Right, and Center: Voices from Across the Political Spectrum (1996), and is coeditor with Donald McQuade of The Writer’s Presence (2009).
Introduction for Students: The Writer’s Presence
ON WRITING: Practical Advice from Successful Writers
Dealing with Procrastination
Envisioning an Audience
Working with Words
Alexie, Sherman, The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me *Allison, Dorothy, A Question of ClassAngelou, Maya, What's Your Name, Girl?Baldwin, James, Notes of a Native Son The Writer at Work—James Baldwin on Black EnglishCarver, Raymond, My Father's Life Cofer, Judith Ortiz, Silent Dancing The Writer at Work — Judith Ortiz Cofer on Memory and Personal Essays Cooper, Bernard, A Clack of Tiny Sparks: Remembrances of a Gay Boyhood Douglass, Frederick, Learning to Read and Write *Dubus III, Andre, The Land of No: Love in Class-Riven America*The Writer at Work—Andre Dubus on The Risks of Memoir WritingFadiman, Anne, Under Water *The Writer at Work—Anne Fadiman on the Art of EditingGates, Henry Louis Jr., In the Kitchen The Writer at Work—Henry Louis Gates Jr. on the Writer’s Voice
Part I. Personal Writing: Exploring Our Own Lives
*What is Personal Writing?
*Strategies for Establishing Your Personal Presence
*Strategies for Turning Your Story into a Compelling Narrative
*Strategies for Writing Literary Prose
*Reading Personal Essays: A Checklist
Hachiya, Michihiko, from Hiroshima Diary
*Hansen, Silas, Blank SlateHoagland, Edward, On Stuttering
The Writer at Work — Edward Hoagland on What an Essay Is
Hughes, Langston, Salvation
Kothari, Geeta, If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?
*Lahiri, Jhumpa, My Two LivesMairs, Nancy, On Being a Cripple The Writer at Work—Nancy Mairs on Finding a VoiceMamet, David, The Rake: A Few Scenes from My Childhood Mengestu, Dinaw, Home at LastMunoz, Manuel, Leave Your Name at the Border *(Student Essay) Milos Kosic, It’s Not the Name That MattersOrwell, George, Shooting an Elephant*Proulx, Annie, A Yard of ClothRodriguez, Richard, Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood The Writer at Work — Richard Rodriguez on a Writer's Identity Satrapi, Marjane, My Speech at West Point The Graphic Memoirist at Work — Marjane Satrapi on the Language of Words and ImagesSedaris, David, Me Talk Pretty One Day *Smith, Patti, Sticky FingersStaples, Brent, Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space The Writer at Work — Another Version of Just Walk on By *Strayed, Cheryl, Into the Woods*The Writer at Work—Cheryl Strayed on What Makes a Good EssayWalker, Alice, Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self Walker, Jerald, Scattered Inconveniences The Writer at Work—Jerald Walker on Telling a Good Story (Student Essay) Lauren Carter, Isn’t Watermelon Delicious?White, E. B., Once More to the Lake The Writer at Work—E.B. White on the Essayist Wiesel, Elie, Eight Simple, Short Words
Cunningham, Amy, Why Women Smile
*Didion, Joan, The Santa Ana*The Writer at Work—Joan Didion on Why I Write*Dillard, Annie, This is the LifeThe Writer at Work, Annie Dillard on The Writing Life*Doyle, Brian, Dawn and Mary His Last Game A Note on Mascots*The Writer at Work—Brian Doyle on the Pleasures and Craft of Writing and Reading Eighner, Lars, On Dumpster Diving
The Writer at Work—Lars Eighner on the Challenges of Writing While Homeless
*Frazier, Ian, A Farewell to Yarns*Gilbert, Daniel, What You Don’t Know Makes You Nervous *(Student Essay) Hewitt, Tom, Learning from TisonGladwell, Malcolm, Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be TweetedHawthorne, Nathaniel, My Visit to Niagara*Iyer, Pico, The Terminal Check *(Student Essay) Ahmad, Meher, My Homeland Security JourneyKing, Stephen, Everything You Need to Know about Writing Successfully—in Ten Minutes Kingston, Maxine Hong, No Name Woman The Writer at Work — Maxine Hong Kingston on Writing for Oneself
Levitt, Stephen D and Stephen J Dubner, What Should You Worry About?Lincoln, Abraham, Gettysburg Address
The Writer at Work, Abraham Lincoln’s Hay Draft of the Gettysburg Address
*Lightman, Alan, Our Place in the UniverseMcBride, James, Hip-Hop Planet Momaday, N. Scott, The Way to Rainy Mountain Nafisi, Azar, Reading Lolita in Tehran Ofri, Danielle, SAT Orwell, George, Politics and the English Language
The Writer at Work — George Orwell on the Four Reasons for Writing
*Pollan, Michael, The End of Cooking?
*[e-reading] United States Department of Agriculte, Miracles from Agriculture 1960 [video]
Pollitt, Katha, Why Boys Don't Play with Dolls
Kipnis, Laura, Against Love
*McKibben, Bill, A Moral Atmosphere
Michaels, Walter Benn, The Trouble with Diversity
*[e-reading] The White House, The Buffett Rule [video]
*Mosley, Walter, Get Happy
Obama, Barack, Grant Park Victory Speech
The Writer at Work, Another Version of Consider the Lobster
*Wideman, John Edgar, FatheralongZinn, Howard, Stories Hollywood Never Tells Part IV. The Short Story: Seven Modern Classics