The Ithaca Manual of Style
Writing Fiction and Nonfiction That Is Clear, Concise, and Captivating
by Michael Pastore
Paperback book, 204 pages
Price (paperback): $ 18
Price (ebook): $ 5.99
Most traditional style guides are mere reference books with thousands of rules about SPUG: spelling, punctuation, usage, grammar. Our guide is not about the fanatic obsession with correctness. In a lively style, The Ithaca Manual illuminates how professional writers write with precision, power, and passion.
The 32 chapters are divided into four themes: Reading Makes Us Human; The Writer’s Art and Personal Struggles; One Word Is Better Than Two; and The Style is the Woman Herself. Twenty-one of the selections are perennial classics: ideas and advice by Virginia Woolf, George Sand, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Emerson, Bernard Shaw, Walt Whitman, Honore de Balzac, Herman Melville, William Hazlitt, Arthur Schopenhauer, and more. Additional features include a detailed Index, and a chapter of quotations about reading, writing, and books.
Ten of the selections, by the book’s editor, have never been published before, including articles about what Maxwell Perkins taught his authors, and a concise guide to understanding the various phases of editing a book. To compose the final essay ( Bright Ithaca Teaches the Mysteries of Literary Style ), Pastore spent 24 continuous hours at the Ithaca Commons, with a pencil, a notebook, and a waist-high pile of the world’s great books.
“How shall we manage it,” asked Goethe, “that all be fresh and new and pleasing and instructive, at once?” … Students as well as beginning and professional writers, who desire a new approach to learning the art of writing, will find fun as well as wisdom reading The Ithaca Manual of Style.