Late Work by Joan Frank


Get your hands on this book and read it. Especially if you like reading about writing – and reading about reading. Frank is authentically honest and, pun intended, Frank in her words (I hope she doesn’t think this is too clever). This book of essays is one of those that you want to keep dipping into. I had a hard time putting it down. I have implicit bias as an admirer of Frank but that won’t stop me from encouraging you to dig into this deliciousness.

Of note, I love her criticism of an Ann Patchett essay that came out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her brutal truth inspires me to keep my critical eye sharp. The reality of the commitment, time, effort, stick-to-itiveness required to publish one of her works is remarkable and memorable — I think most of us realize how challenging the world of publishing is today, but this essay puts it into context I’ve never read before– you can feel it.

The amount of literary reference inside these pages is overwhelming and something I’ll be returning to to dip in over time. I only wish there was a list of words cited at the end to make it easy 🙂

This is a better version of On Writing by Stephen King or Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Accessible, readable, and very high yum factor. Enjoy this read with me and let me know your thoughts!

7 comments on “Late Work by Joan Frank”

  1. I found a short sample of ‘Late Work,’ and I could immediately see why you relate to it. Another book to add to my ‘to read’ list.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, m’am. I read the short sample, too, and I placed an order. Wonderful to think about how much I loved reading Stoner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I listened this afternoon. Simon Van Booy is a discovery, too. I just love it that he recommended Claire Keegan to Joan Frank some number of years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

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