William Zinsser, author of the bestselling On Writing Well, recounts his writing and teaching career in this whimsical and witty memoir. Writing Places follows Zinsser from the beginning of his writing career at the New York Herald Tribune, to his years as a freelancer, to his years gallivanting around Yale and other college campuses, and back to New York again.
For over sixty years, his typewriter, word processor or computer has been set up in various quirky locations, from the derelict shed in Connecticut where he wrote On Writing Well, to a rented office complete with firepole, to his office at Branford College, Yale, which was overshadowed by a 44-bell carillon.
Throughout the book, Zinsser writes in his typical spare and simple prose, peppered with humor and wisdom. He spends a lot of time recalling the revision process for On Writing Well, and the way writing and reading changed between various editions; he has to come to terms himself with switching out his typewriter for a word processor.
Perhaps the most endearing part of his book comes from the recollections of his Yale years and the students from his nonfiction writing class who became notable writers themselves. His passion for writing and teaching is present throughout Writing Places but is most obvious here.
Writing Places is more than Zinsserís tales of his writing and teaching spaces. Itís also about his growth as a writer and educator. Any disciple of On Writing Well will take pleasure and inspiration from this book, but anyone new to Zinsser who wants insight into the mind of a writer will enjoy the ride as well.