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In this series of intimate reflections on life and writing, critically acclaimed and best-selling novelist Bret Lott calls authors to pursue excellence in their craft through five fascinating essays and an extended memoir that explores everything from the importance of literary fiction to the pain of personal loss.
Learn here what it means to be a writer who navigates the tension inherent to being a Christian in the public square-and to being an artist made in the image of God.
Number of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
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Writing is both a significant and intimate activity. Acclaimed novelist Bret Lott reflects on his life as a writer through five essays exploring everything from the importance of literary fiction to the pain of personal loss.
Bret Lott (MFA, University of Massachusetts) is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen books including Jewel, an Oprah Book Club selection. From 1986 to 2004 he was writer-in-residence and professor of English at the College of Charleston, leaving to take the position of editor and director of the journal The Southern Review at Louisiana State University. In 2007, he returned to the College of Charleston, where he currently teaches. He serves as nonfiction editor of Crazyhorse, and is a member of the National Council on the Arts.
"In this lively collection of essays, Lott is determined to bridge another gapthe sometimes uneasy tension between the world of literary fiction and the broader community of faith." -Gregory Wolfe, editor, Image; author, Beauty Will Save the World
"Bret Lott has dared to write an impossible booka serious and candid set of meditations on what it means to be a Christian writer living in a secular society that neither respects nor even understands his faith." -Dana Gioia, poet; former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
"Lott is one of America's finest writers and editors; this book reveals him to be one of our greatest mentors to writers of faith as well. Letters and Life brims with wisdom and advice to all who bear the call toward an authentic journey of a writer. It is a gift for all readers who desire to know more about the creative process and to infuse their creativity into their lives." Makoto Fujimura, artist; founder, International Arts Movement
Grace Noble5 Stars Out Of 5On Being a Writer, On Being a ChristianFebruary 7, 2015Grace NobleI found beginning his book with the Apostles Creed a refreshing and welcome perspective in light of our current zeitgeist; but the rest of Brett Lott's book is ruminations (albeit, interesting ruminations).
darianGreeley, COAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Get it!May 24, 2013darianGreeley, COAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Bret Lott's "Letters and Life" is a call to arms for Christian writers. It is what have wanted to say but been afraid if I said it I would never be published in the Christian market. Lott's calls writers who are Christians to be brave and embrace that one of the best ways to reflect Christ is to peruse excellence, creativity, and art in our craft.
Lott confronts the false dichotomy between the sacred and secular and makes the case that the words of a true writer come from within the deepest part of who they are. They, therefore, always reveal our beliefs, regardless of what we may call ourselves. A writer who is a Christian will always communicate the heart of God if he is in right relationship with Him. These revelations are present whether or not the writer is explicit about it, or it is revealed in subtler, yet often in more profound and powerful, ways.
Lott calls Christian writers to stand against the pressure of the Christian publishing market to water down their art to the lowest common denominator and settle for the mundane offerings of disguised how to books: "How to Overcome...", "How to Pray", "How to Read the Bible", "How to raise Kids", "How to have the Perfect Marriage", "How to Be a Leader". It is the writer's call to reveal that God is so much deeper than teaching us how to perform.
Lott does all this through sharing life with his readers. The book contains five essays followed by the sharing of Lott's life and journey as a writer. The only thing that I felt missing was Lott carrying his suggestions and advice out of the world of only fiction and broadening it into nonfiction. However, this is minor in that much of what he writes is easily transferable. "Letters and Life" is a great and much needed book for Christian writers everywhere.