JAMES WOOD is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a visiting lecturer at Harvard. In addition to How Fiction Works, he is the author of two essay collections, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, a novel, The Book Against God.
This compelling essay shows just how deeply, sensitively, imaginatively and joyfully he reads Scotland on Sunday There aren't many book reviewers whose leaving one magazine to go to work for another would make the headlines. But then there aren't many book reviewers like James Wood Sunday Telegraph Luminous... full of top-notch observations from the coal-face -- D.J. Taylor Independent on Sunday Enchanting... Witty, concise, and composed with a lovely lightness of touch Economist Exceptionally illuminating... brilliantly acute and enticingly widely read work. It should be compulsory reading for anyone in the reviewing trade and committed to memory before aspiring writers put pen to paper. For those who intend to pursue the underrated calling of reading fiction without wishing to add to its ranks, it will not only make reading more pleasurable, but articulate what you may have felt but never been able to express -- Rosemary Goring Herald