Beyond the First Draft” is a collection of essays about writing. Because they are about writing, they’re also about reading. For John Casey, as I would judge for most good writers, it’s difficult to separate the two activities. One feeds into the other, and the process is repeated in reverse. No doubt there are exceptions, because there is scarcely a rule to which there aren’t, but it is rare to find a writer who wasn’t first, and for a long part of his life, a devoted and compulsive reader, though not necessarily a discriminating one.
[…] This is just what John Casey does in these essays, encouraging us to look more closely and intelligently at what we read and even at what we may be trying to write.
~ Allan Massie, in a review of John Casey’s “Beyond the First Draft”
John Casey, 75, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the University of Iowa. His previous novel, Spartina, won the 1989 National Book Award for fiction. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he is Professor in the English Department at the University of Virginia. In Beyond the First Draft he offers his essential and original insights into the art of writing—and rewriting—fiction. Find his new book on Amazon here: Beyond the First Draft.