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First You Write a Sentence.

by Joe Moran

  • Hardcover
    $26.61
ISBN: 9780241978498
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  • Hardcover
    $26.61
ISBN: 9780241978498

Publisher Description

Advanced maths has no practical use, and is understood by few. A symphony can be widely appreciated, but created only by a genius. Good writing, however, can be written (and read) by anyone if we give it the gift of our time. And a sentence might be as near as many of us will get to orchestrating beauty.

Enter universally praised historian Professor Joe Moran. Using minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence. is his unpedantic explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. With examples from the Bible and Shakespeare to Orwell and Diana Athill, and with support from scientific studies of what most fires people's minds, he shows how we can all write in a way that is vivid, clear and engaging.

With chapters from tools of the trade (from typewriters to texting and the impact this has on the craft); and writing and the senses (how to make the world visible and touchable); to how to find the ideal word, build a sentence, and construct a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence. informs by light example. It's an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.

Flap

The sentence is the common ground where every writer walks. A poet writes in sentences, but so does the unsung author who came up with Items trapped in doors cause delays . A good sentence can be written (and read) by anyone if we simply give it the gift of our time, and it is as close as most of us will get to making something truly beautiful. Enter widely-acclaimed author Professor Joe Moran. Using minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence is his unpedantic but authoritative explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. Using sources ranging from the Bible and Shakespeare to George Orwell and Maggie Nelson, and scientific studies of what can best fire the reader's mind, he shows how we can all write in a way that is clear, compelling and alive. Whether dealing with finding the ideal word, building a sentence or constructing a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence informs by light example: much richer than a style guide, it can be read not just for instruction but for pleasure and delight. And along the way it shows how good writing can help us notice the world, make ourselves known to others and live more meaningful lives. It's an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.

Author Biography

Joe Moran is Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University and is the author of six books, including Queuing for Beginners- The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime, Armchair Nation- An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV and Shrinking Violets- A Field Guide to Shyness.

Review

Humane and witty . . . as a primer in generous and lively writing, First You Write a Sentence is blithe and convincing New York Times Compelling . . . There's plenty in Moran's book to delight grammar and language nerds -- Daniel Hahn The Spectator Moran is a past master at producing fine, accessible non-fiction. His trick is to take what might be considered a perfectly ordinary behaviour ... and uncover fact after fascinating fact -- Helen Davies Sunday Times Moran's genius is to show us what was right in front of us all along -- Bee Wilson Joe Moran is a wonderfully gifted social historian...he has the poet's ability to find the remarkable in the commonplace -- Craig Brown Whether you're composing an ad for a shop or embarking on your first literary masterpiece, it is indispensable. As an inspiration to savour every encounter, to train your lazy brain to be alert to a beautifully devised phrase, a poetic alleviation, a mood-changing bon mot, it is even more rewarding -- Jane Annie Big Issue Moran is a wonderful, witty writer, and here he surpasses himself -- Marcus Berkmann (on Shrinking Violets) Daily Mail Moran is a past master at producing fine, accessible non-fiction. -- Helen Davies Sunday Times Moran has fast become Britain's foremost explorer and explainer of the disregarded -- Juliet Gardiner, author of 'Wartime: Britain 1939-1945' Joe Moran is the most perceptive and original observer of British life that we have -- Matthew Engel Joe Moran is a wonderfully sharp writer, calm, precise and quietly comical . . . Moran's own sentences are perfect advertisements for the aims they espouse -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday Thoughtful, engaging, and lively expose of the quirks and beauties of the full sentence . . . It's a style guide by stealth: when you've read it, you realise you've changed your attitude to writing (and reading). -- John Simpson, formerly Chief Editor of the OED and author of The Word Detective What a lovely thing this is: a book that delights in the sheer textural joy of good sentences. Joe Moran has written a book about writing that is itself a collection of sentences to inspire, divert and console. Any aspiring writer should read it, if only to be reminded how crazily hard it is to write words 'in such a way that they can be deciphered in your absence' -- Bee Wilson Thoughtful reflections on how to write well -- John Mullan Guardian Review Joe Moran has a genius for turning the prosaic poetic -- Peter Hennessy

Review Text

Joe Moran has a genius for turning the prosaic poetic

Review Quote

Joe Moran has a genius for turning the prosaic poetic--Peter Hennessy Thoughtful reflections on how to write well--John Mullan, Guardian Review What a lovely thing this is: a book that delights in the sheer textural joy of good sentences. Joe Moran has written a book about writing that is itself a collection of sentences to inspire, divert and console. Any aspiring writer should read it, if only to be reminded how crazily hard it is to write words 'in such a way that they can be deciphered in your absence'--Bee Wilson Thoughtful, engaging, and lively expos

Promotional "Headline"

A style guide by stealth - how anyone can write well (and can enjoy good writing)

Product Details

Author
Joe Moran
Publisher
Penguin Books Ltd
Year
2018
ISBN-10
0241978491
ISBN-13
9780241978498
Format
Hardcover
Publication Date
2018-09-27
Media
Book
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Subtitle
The Elements of Reading, Writing ... and Life.
Pages
240
Short Title
First You Write a Sentence
Language
English
Audience
General/Trade