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Three new books for writers out this spring

The season's highlights include a meditation on American poetry, a three-part plan for aspiring novelists, and an all-star anthology about solitude.

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Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts 

by Matt Bell

Author and writing teacher Matt Bell offers a three-part plan to help aspiring novelists finish a manuscript. First is the exploratory phase of discovery and drafting; the second involves structured outlining and rewriting; then, finally, is the “refuse to be done” stage of polishing and making final revisions. “Bell’s cheerleading is bolstered by plenty of interviews and examples…and writers intimidated by the process will find solace in the case he makes that while good writing is not easy, putting one’s whole self into a novel is an ‘incredible joy,’” writes Publishers Weekly. Out now.

Bookshop | Barnes & Noble

The Lonely Stories: 22 Celebrated Writers on the Joys & Struggles of Being Alone

Edited by Natalie Eve Garrett

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many, especially those who live alone, to reckon with solitude in new and radical ways. This new anthology, edited by Natalie Eve Garrett and published by Catapult, asks a remarkable lineup of authors to share their perceptions on being alone along with the joys or struggles solitude brings. The anthology’s 22 contributors include Jesmyn Ward, Jhumpa Lahiri, Maya Shanbhag Lang, Anthony Doerr, Lena Dunham, Jean Kwok, Maggie Shipstead, and Lev Grossman. Out April 19.

Bookshop | Barnes & Noble

The Heart of American Poetry 

By Edward Hirsch

Celebrated poet Edward Hirsch offers a close and personal reading of 40 American poems in his latest book on verse, The Heart of American Poetry. “This is a personal book about American poetry, but I hope it is more than a personal selection,” writes Hirsch, explaining that he has “tried to be cognizant of the changing playbook in American poetry, which is not fixed but fluctuating, ever in flow, to pay attention to the wider consideration, the appreciable reach of our literature. This is a book of encounters and realizations.” Out April 19.

Bookshop | Barnes & Noble