“Memory is like rope, knotted every three or four feet, and hanging down a deep well. When you pull it up, just about anything might be attached to those knots. But you’ll never know what’s there if you don’t pull. And the more you pull at that rope, the more you find.”
Dinty W. Moore, Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy
Dinty W. Moore’s new book, Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy, Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals, is a droll, delicious exposé of the inner workings of Moore’s mind. Oh, and it’s a writing tutorial as well, although not in the instructional sense —- commas here, apostrophes there, watch those dangling participles —- but in the classic show don’t tell sense. Moore shows you how to write the most sublime essays in answer to questions posed by contemporary essay writers —- questions generated in response to a query from Moore on their thoughts regarding the art of essay writing. As a bonus, he throws in more than a few tidbits of enlightened instruction along the way such as his rumination on the em dash. I, like the questioner, Cheryl Strayed (think “Wild”), am enamored of em dashes —- so much so that perhaps it’s become an unhealthy relationship —- but that’s my problem —- and I’ll deal with it —- someday —- maybe. Then there’s Moore’s history lesson.