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In Lucky Break, Howard Junker introduces you to nineteen contemporary authors who describe their struggles-and good fortune-in transforming themselves into writers. For some, the idea of being a writer seemed to run in the family. For others, writing was a way of breaking with their families; for still others, writing was the only way to find their own voice, to preserve what is uniquely theirs. Collected from the pages of ZYZZYVA, the West Coast literary journal, these are very personal essays in which, nevertheless, other writers will discover something of their own stories and journeys. Among the authors featured in Lucky Break are Sheila Ballantyne, Opal Palmer Adisa, Philip Levine, Jewelle Gomez, Justin Chin, David Rains Wallace, and Sallie Tisdale. Becoming a writer is a mysterious, momentous process. The writers in this collection suggest that beyond talent and hard work (and a lucky break), there is more hard work-the task of "being" a writer. They offer accounts not of the craft of writing, but of the many strands that must be woven together to create an identity as a writer.
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Contents: Introduction: Howard Junker Opal Palmer Adisa: Lying in the Tall Grases, Eating Cane Sheila Ballantyne: Thank You, Leonard Wolf Bill Berkson: A Beginner Jon Billman: Infernos to Battle Justin Chin: What I Hid ; What Was Found Blair Fuller: Dubious Quest Jewelle Gomez: Somebody Almost Walked off wid all My Stuff Forrest Hamer: The Visitor Adam Hochschild: Finding the Trap Door Ginu Kamani: Putting Aside My Fears Dorianne Laux: Girl Poet Philip Levine: The Shadow of the Big Madrone David Wong Louie: Saddle Aleida Rodriguez: Walking Kay Ryan: Do You Like It? Octavio Solis: English, My Ally Sallie Tisdale: Wolves David Rains Wallace: Advocating Landscape Peter Booth Wiley: Printer's Ink in My Veins