Natalie Goldberg

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Writing Down The Bones Deck by Natalie Goldberg

A Bookseller at Harvard Bookstore:

“Natalie Goldberg’s 1986 classic guide on creating a writing practice has inspired beginning and seasoned writers for decades. All types of writers will find something useful in these brand new lessons that are guaranteed to get your pen moving. Pairs well with the original book for a thoughtful gift for every beginning writer, and long-time fans of Goldberg will love the fresh lessons. I’ve been getting it for all of my writer friends, and love drawing a card at random to find a spark of inspiration to get outside my comfort zone.”

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WINNER – Shelf Awareness: Best books of 2021


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Each book Natalie Goldberg writes builds on the one before. Writing Down the Bones, her first, gave amateurs ample leeway to doodle, explore and dream on the page. In that book’s chapter “A Sensation of Space,” Goldberg cites haiku from Shiki, Issa, Buson and Basho. Those four send her on the title pilgrimage of Three Simple Lines. This book brings her body of work full circle–her Zen practice, her writing practice and the ways in which each enhances the other. It’s a tribute to her teachers, her students and to Allen Ginsberg, who introduced her to these Japanese haiku masters. Some chapters are only four pages long; all leave readers with big ideas to digest. Goldberg demonstrates the fluidity between teacher and student, the desire to share knowledge and the willingness to learn. She closes the book with six rules of haiku penned by one of her students, and sends readers on their way. –Jennifer M. Brown, senior editor, Shelf Awareness