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Life Is Short ? Art Is Shorter : In Praise of Brevity
by David Shields and Elizabeth Cooperman


Overview - Life Is Short--Art Is Shorter is not just the first anthology to gather both mini-essays and short-short stories; readers, writers, and teachers will get will get an anthology; a course's worth of writing exercises; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity in an increasingly digital, post-religious age; and a meditation on the brevity of human existence.  Read more...

 
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More About Life Is Short ? Art Is Shorter by David Shields; Elizabeth Cooperman
 
 
 
Overview
Life Is Short--Art Is Shorter is not just the first anthology to gather both mini-essays and short-short stories; readers, writers, and teachers will get will get an anthology; a course's worth of writing exercises; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity in an increasingly digital, post-religious age; and a meditation on the brevity of human existence.

1. We are mortal beings.
2. There is no god.
3. We live in a digital culture.
4. Art is related to the body and to the culture.
5. Art should reflect these things.
6. Brevity rules.

The book's 40 contributors include Donald Barthelme, Kate Chopin, Lydia Davis, Annie Dillard, Jonathan Safran Foer, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, Jamaica Kincaid, Wayne Koestenbaum, Anne Lamott, Daphne Merkin, Rick Moody, Dinty W. Moore, George Orwell, Jayne Anne Phillips, George Saunders, Lauren Slater, James Tate, and Paul Theroux.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780989360456
  • ISBN-10: 0989360458
  • Publisher: Hawthorne Books
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Anthologies (multiple authors)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-09
  • Reviewer: Staff

Rather than simply collecting stories and essays of exceptional quality and short length, this strange anthology also attempts to add the organizing conceit of human aging—and then tries to be a classroom text, including writing prompts in between chapters. Achieving all three of these goals is too much for the short pieces, although some of the essays are not all that short, up to 10 pages long. Many of the selections do glimmer, showcasing their ability to transmit depth and insight in few words. Standouts include Wayne Koestenbaum’s “My 1980s,” Rick Moody’s “Primary Sources,” and Annie Dillard’s response to 9/11, “This Is the Life.” Most of the stories and essays seem out of place in the “stage of life” chapters in which they are placed. For example, the section themed “You Are a Toddler” is also (confusingly) titled “Prose Poem” and includes one essay about a poet’s husband and another about being a stripper. The introductions, to each chapter and to the book itself, are tedious and bizarre, cryptically describing the short pieces in order to justify their inclusion. The collection aims to praise brevity, but lacks the clarity to explain its own necessity. (Apr.)

 
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