Descriptious #1: softcover, 20 pp, $25
I recently designed a book for my friend, the writer Ruth Coppens. It’s a book of quotations, of an unusual kind, and it is best described in her own words:
“One of author Elmore Leonard’s rules for good writing was: ‘Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.’ By this he almost certainly meant descriptions, especially of place. Leonard was a fine writer, but this rule ignores a simple fact: some of us love the parts that other people skip… I collect writers who are good at this kind of thing; they can be found in most genres, but what they all have in common is an ability to unite specificity of observation with a strong emotional valence. Here I am sharing some of my favorites among what are loosely termed nature writers.”
She includes in this book extracts by well-known writers like Terry Tempest Williams, Willa Cather, and Aldo Leopold, but for me its real value was in introducing me to obscure or somewhat forgotten writers like Rumer Godden, Henry Beston, and Edward Thomas. The accompanying images are photographs she has collected that resonate with particular descriptions. The perfect gift for a compulsive reader.