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Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing (Paperback)
January 2011 Indie Next List
“I love the way that Roger Rosenblatt can squeeze so much meaning into so few words. This is a collection of ideas, discussions, and exercises that he has shared with his writing students. One of my favorites is 'in fiction you treat facts differently. You dream into them and make them works of art.' That line has lived vividly in my imagination since I read it. This is the kind of book that will change your life with a few carefully written words. Amazing!”
— Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO
Multiple award-winner Roger Rosenblatt has received glowing critical acclaim for his exceptional literary works from the hilarious novels Lapham Rising and Beet to his poignant, heartbreaking, ultimately inspiring memoir Making Toast. With Unless It Moves the Human Heart, the revered novelist, essayist, playwright, and respected writing teacher offers a guidebook for aspiring authors, a memoir, and an impassioned argument for the necessity of writing in our world. In the tradition of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, Rosenblatt's Unless It Moves the Human Heart provides practical insights and advice on the craft, exquisitely presented by one of contemporary literature's living treasures.
“Less a how-to book than a measured reflection on teaching, [Unless It Moves the Human Heart] nonetheless offers aspiring writers many concrete suggestions...And the oft-invoked words of other authors should resonate with readers and writers alike.”
“With this slim volume, Rosenblatt offers his take on the challenges and responsibilities facing would-be writers...The informal and succinct format makes [Unless It Moves the Human Heart] a fast read but not a simple one...an artful take on the writing life.”
“Roger Rosenblatt is the teacher you always wished you had... Adept and inventive, Rosenblatt encourages his students to write with moderation but think with grandiosity…Having skillfully addressed matters of style, he ends by eloquently approaching the spirit.”
“Unless It Moves the Human Heart is right up there with Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones,” although less Zen, and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird,” although less confessional... The book is filled with humor and practical advice…”
“There is much to love and ponder within these passionate pages.”