Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction
by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd
Random House, 2013. 195 pgs. Nonfiction.
The subtitle of Kidder and Todd's remarkable new book is "stories and advice from a lifetime of writing and editing." They are as good as their word, and their word is very good. Kidder, who won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1982 for The Soul of a New Machine, and who has written a number of fine articles and books ranging from Among Schoolchildren, a school year long stay in a fifth grade classroom, to House, a narrative history of the building of a home. Todd is Kidder's no less gifted editor and the two team up to deliver an amiable, readable, remarkable editorial, if you will, on why good writing is such hard work, but why that work is worth it.