Curious, ruminative, and wry, this literary autobiography tours what Rachel Kushner called "the strange remove that is the life of the writer." Frank's essays cover a vast spectrum--from handling dismissive advice, facing the dilemma of thwarted ambition, and copying the generosity that inspires us, to the miraculous catharsis of letter-writing and some of the books that pull us through. Useful for writers at any stage of development, Late Work offers a seasoned artist's thinking through the exploration of issues, paradoxes, and crises of faith. Like a lively conversation with a close, outspoken friend, each piece tells its experience from the trenches.
Joan Frank is the award-winning author of a number of books of literary fiction and essays including Because You Have To: A Writing Life and All the News I Need: A Novel. She lives with her husband, playwright Bob Duxbury, in the North Bay Area of California.
"Questioning her assumptions (and ours as well), this vastly well-read author takes us through the slings and arrows of the literary life, arriving at a place of wisdom and sanity."--Phillip Lopate, author of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction
"Joan Frank's assessment of lateness as a conduit of possibility--by which, reading and writing, we record the subtle and continuous miracle of being alive--makes this a wise and moving book."--Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education
"Late Work gets to the heart of how a mature writer makes work that matters. At once wry, generous, and brutally honest, it is an essential guide for serious writers and readers of all ages."--Yang Huang, author of My Good Son: A Novel
"The work of the writer, late and soon, is life itself . . . it's that simple, that difficult. Through analogy and example, Joan Frank's essays take us with her into a dimming world: to look, to feel, to cherish and forgive. This is a rich, real collection."--Carol Sklenicka, author of Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer
"Late Work is one of the best books on writing and the writing life I have ever read. It contains wonderful pages about the covenant between writer and reader along with advice for writers on how to use one's own 'skinlessness' as a creative tool. It is above all a book about art and the role, both tempering and freeing, that aging plays in an artist's life and work."--Joel Agee, author of The Stone World
What Would John Williams Do?
The Late Work Bylaws
Lifeness Itself: Divining the Details
I Say It's Spinach
Your Baby's Ugly
The Lonely Voice in Its Bathrobe: A Life of Letters
You've Made It
Make It Go Away
Ready or Not
What Are We Afraid Of?
It Seemed Important at the Time: The New Doubt
The Action Figures Collection
Coda: Someone Is Reading