Francine Prose on Writing and the Writing Life

When the novelist Francine Prose came to UF in the late eighties, she told us that she’d dropped out of Harvard to work on her novel. She believed that if you wanted to learn how to write, the best teachers were the masters: thus her insightful book, Reading Like a Writer. Her insights continue in this short interview in Student Life, a student news paper from Washington University. Prose answers some of the usual questions–advise to young writers–but gives some surprising answers too, like what it’s like to work on a novel that is finally published:

It’s the punishment for writing the book. It’s like walking around without your skin or something. Anyone can say anything. You are incredibly hypersensitive. A good review is fine; a bad review is really terrible. Every so often something satisfying will happen. But that can happen at any point, usually not right after publication.


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