Writing Badly is Easy

by Amitava Kumar

Category: Non-Fiction

‘Pound for pound, Amitava Kumar is one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation…’
—Siddharth Chowdhury
‘Amitava Kumar is a sensitive, probing, erudite writer, always ready to question others and
himself.’
—Edmund White

When Lord Macaulay introduced English as the instrument of education in India, he
also bequeathed to us a legacy of language-use that is often stiff and bureaucratic. This
awkwardness plagues academic, journalistic, legal, even creative writing in India.

You fail as a writer if your writing is not concrete, if it is vague and abstract, and your reader
is unable to see what you mean. Writing Badly is Easy is a style guide for those who want to
write well. It presents advice given by award-winning creative writers—including Jonathan
Franzen, Jennifer Egan, Suketu Mehta, Marilynne Robinson, George Saunders and Colson
Whitehead—and noted thinkers like Alain de Botton, Andrew Ross, Anna Tsing, Kathleen
Stewart and Rob Nixon, as well as numerous others. Amitava Kumar’s own essays on writing, including his collaboration with Teju Cole, demonstrate the importance of blurring the line between critical and creative writing. A manifesto for writing that is exuberant, imaginative and playful, Writing Badly is Easy will change the way you think about reading and writing, and reveal the pleasures to be had in the inventive use of language.

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