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The Art of Nonfiction

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  • Full Title: The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
  • Author(s): Edited by Robert Mayhew, introduction by Peter Schwartz
  • Year Published: 2001
  • Publication Type: Commercial
  • Publisher: Plume
  • ISBN-10: 0-452-28231-4
  • ISBN-13:
  • Description: This book is a distillation of a series of informal lectures on nonfiction writing conducted by Rand in the late 1960s.
  • Cover blurb:

    In 1969, Ayn Rand gave a series of informal lectures on the art of nonfiction to a select group of friends and associates. Guided solely by a brief outline, the world-renowned author discussed all aspects of creating effective nonfiction, a skill she believed could be learned and mastered by any rational person. Now, for the first time, the edited transcripts of these remarkable sessions are available to readers and writers.

    In The Art of Nonfiction, Rand takes readers step by step through the writing process, providing insightful observations and invaluable techniques along the way. She discusses the psychological aspects of writing and the different roles played by the conscious and subconscious mind. She talks about articles and books, explaining how to select a subject and theme ("If you have nothing new to say, no matter how brilliantly you can say it, do not do it"); how to identify your audience; and how to write the first draft.

    From preparing an outline to polishing a draft to mastering an individual writing style, this crucial resource introduces the ideas of one of our most enduring authors to a new generation. This book, an essential companion piece to Ayn Rand's The Art of Fiction, is at once a fascinating philosophical discourse on the art of creation and an invaluable guide for the aspiring writer or student. It is a treasure that will challenge and edify -- and illuminate the way to more powerful writing. (From a Plume paperback printing.)


Where an item is by an author other than Rand, the author's name is noted in square brackets.

  1. Preliminary Remarks
  2. Choosing a Subject and Theme
  3. Judging One's Audience
  4. Applying Philosophy Without Preaching It
  5. Creating an Outline
  6. Writing the Draft: The Primacy of the Subconscious
  7. Editing
  8. Style
  9. Book Reviews and Introductions
  10. Writing a Book
  11. Selecting a Title
  12. Acquiring Ideas for Writing

Related Links

Reviews, Criticism and Analysis

The following perspectives on this book are available online:

Additional keywords: Ann Rand, Anne Rand, Ayn Rad, Ayn Ran, Any Rand

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