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Writing a Book Review People Will Read

April 6, 2011 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

To be a talented book reviewer it helps to have a certain set of skills, among them the ability to enter the author’s mind, according to Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review. “You have to abandon yourself to a book, immerse yourself in its world,” says Tanenhaus, who spoke at a Graduate Center event, “The Art of the Book Review.” “That doesn’t mean simply recapitulating what you’ve read,” says Tanenhaus, “you have to create your own drama around it through a driving and suspenseful narrative prose.” Panelists also included Henry Finder, editorial director of The New Yorker, Radhika Jones, senior editor for Time and Time.com, Robert Messenger, book editor for the Wall Street Journal, and moderator, André Aciman, director of the Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center.
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