Would-be authors know that there are plenty of how-to courses and books about writing but there are very few novels available on the subject – Stephanie Johnson’s latest novel, The Writing Class, is one.
Set in an unnamed New Zealand town, it focuses on Merle, the teacher of a university Creative Writing class and those who are involved in it, whether directly or indirectly.
Having written six novels a long time ago, she is married to Brendan, once a renegade documentary director, now down and out. Having found a doctor to say that he is unfit for work, he spends his days hanging around the house. In order to make ends meet, the couple have taken on a German boarder, Jurgen, who has mysteriously been on the run for 20 years and is just beginning to return to civilization.
Passionate about the craft of writing, Merle tries to impart her knowledge and experience to her class of fledging writers who are working towards submitting their final manuscripts. Their various personalities and motivations for writing make her job a hard one – including Rob, the lesbian in lycra, Helen, the big-bosomed mother of five and Tosh the Rastafarian.
She shares her teaching with Gareth, also a writer, who appears to be crossing the teacher/student relationship with the beautiful (and married) Jacinta.
Each section of the book takes the reader through the writing process: beginning, plot and structure, the writer’s life, inspiration and sustenance, and ways of ending the story.
For the reader, The Writing Class is a delectable read that needs time and attention to fully appreciate its complex characters and elegant writing. For those who write as well as read, it is a reminder that ‘…some of us are not satisfied with one life . . . writers take what we learn of human nature and, fuelled by our longings for other existences and other times, forge new identities…’
The Writing Class. Stephanie Johnson (Random House, $37.99)
Have you read 'The Writing Class'? Add your review below in the comments.
- Married at First SightMAFS' Vicky Fuller and Stefaan Nes have broken up - again
Now To LoveToday 2:18pm
- Parenting NewsGlobal study shows Kiwi teenagers are among the most inactive in the world
Now To LoveToday 1:22pm
- RoyalsThe sweet and subtle way Duchess Meghan honoured Prince Harry and baby Archie
Now To LoveToday 12:05pm
- TVMatty McLean had a huge night after winning Television Personality of the Year
Now To LoveToday 11:50am
- FitnessThe full-body workout you can do with just a park bench
Good Health ChoicesToday 9:20am
- Pregnancy & Birth'Our Halloween treat': Jessica Mutch-McKay presents her adorable baby girl to the world
Now To LoveYesterday 4:13pm
- RelationshipsMatilda Green serves cheeky burn to husband Art on social media
Now To LoveYesterday 2:40pm
- RoyalsPrince Charles says New Zealand ‘offers an example to the world’ in a heartfelt speech at Waitangi
Now To LoveYesterday 12:00pm
- CareerFive things Stephen Colbert has taught us about our own Prime Minister
Now To LoveYesterday 9:45am
- RoyalsPrince Andrew has stepped back from public royal duties for the foreseeable future
Now To LoveYesterday 9:15am
- CareerWhat Charlie's Angels original Jaclyn Smith is up to now
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyYesterday 9:00am
- WeddingsFormer Black Cap Simon Doull marries after a whirlwind courtship that began at a hospital bedside
Woman's DayYesterday 8:25am
- CareerA virus left me paralysed but it didn't stop me from having a career in netball
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyYesterday 8:00am
- CompetitionsWin the new NutriBullet 1000W Blender Combo worth $299.99!
Good Health ChoicesYesterday 7:00am
- BodyBalcony fall survivor AJ Pouoa: 'How a night at a friend's house left me paralysed'
Woman's DayNov 20, 2019
- PetsCelebrities and their pets: Dominic Harvey and Sydney silkie Kanye
Woman's DayNov 19, 2019