One-Minute Book Reviews

October 31, 2008

And Today’s Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole Goes to …

Filed under: Gusher Awards — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:03 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

And today’s Gusher Award for Achievement in Hyperbole in Book Reviewing goes to …

Frances Kiernan for a line in a Wall Street Journal column earlier this year in which she named The Bonfire of the Vanities one of the five best books about New York society:

“Few New Yorkers cross the Triborough Bridge without recalling Sherman McCoy’s disastrous detour into the South Bronx.”

Actually, few New Yorkers cross the Triborough without a) praying that they’ll get to the airport on time, b) hoping they have the five dollars for the toll, or c) wondering if the bicyclists are closing in on mental instability.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

December 20, 2007

What Is Writer’s Block? Quote of the Day (Tom Wolfe)

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:25 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Many writers have tried to define “writer’s block.” One of the best explanations came from Tom Wolfe, who has said he became “totally blocked” while working on his first magazine piece, an article about car customizers for Esquire that became The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. He said:

“I now know what writer’s block is. It’s the fear you cannot do what you’ve announced to someone else you can do, or else the fear that it isn’t worth doing. That’s the rarer form.”

Tom Wolfe in an interview with George Plimpton in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews: Ninth Series (Viking 1992). Edited by George Plimpton. Introduction by William Styron. Reprinted from the Spring 1991 issue of the Paris Review. You can read more from this and other interviews in this acclaimed series at

Comment by Janice Harayda:

This may be the best definition I’ve read of the causes of writer’s block. It’s also true that, as my late mentor Don Murray used to say, “Electricians don’t get electrician’s block.” Don believed that most people could avoid writer’s block by writing every day. He wrote his motto, “Nulla dies sine linea” (“Never a day without a line”), on letters, on the blackboard and on bumper-sticker-like signs he sent to students. Don was a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, where the journalism lab bears his name. He died a year ago this month and still inspires many of our work habits

© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: