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In Word for Word, accomplished author Laurie Lisle shares her hard-earned wisdom about the writing life. A perfect book for aspiring and seasoned writers, as well as fans of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.
Raised in a traditional 1950s New England family, Laurie Lisle rejected the boundaries of her upbringing and followed her drive to write. Coming of age during the women’s liberation movement, she joined Newsweek shortly after it was sued for sexism, hoping to find new opportunities for women writers, but she had to fight for every step forward.
Word for Word is the dramatic story of Lisle’s determination to become a published author, from her early days in journalism to writing her groundbreaking biographies of legendary artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Nevelson. Lisle discusses the demands of writing honestly about others and herself while unflinchingly sharing successes, stumbling blocks, and relationships that threatened to silence her written voice.
In this frank memoir, Lisle asks what a writer—or anyone devoted to self-expression in the arts—needs to flourish and find fulfillment in work and life. She shares insights from artists and other authors and reflects on the way nature nurtures a literary life. Throughout, she examines how the private and professional parts of a writer’s life intertwine, explores what enables words to flow and what stops them, and shows where the writing life can ultimately lead.
A Note From the Publisher
Word for Word is a beautifully-told story about the growth of a woman writer of the second-wave generation, whose intellectual and spiritual debts are to women writers, feminism, and, more generally, strong women. The deeply felt descriptions of landscape, light, flowers and even clothing give special meaning to Lisle’s biographies of two important women artists, Georgia O'Keeffe and Louise Nevelson, and add to her gardening memoir, Four Tenths of an Acre, in affirming the author as a memoirist. - Carol Ascher, author of Afterimages: A Family Memoir
At the heart of this searching memoir is the author’s struggle to establish a writing career while trying to find happiness with the right man. Her accounts of researching the first biography of Georgia O’Keeffe and discovering the delights of the natural world are intertwined with the truths she learns about love, work, and self-reliance. - Cathy Curtis, author of A Generous Vision: The Creative Life of Elaine de Kooning
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