By Maria Popova
"The secrets of good writing have been debated again and again and again. But “good writing” might, after all, be the wrong ideal to aim for. In About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews (public library), celebrated author and literary critic Samuel Delany — who, for a fascinating factlet, penned thecontroversial 1972 “women’s liberation” issue of Wonder Woman — synthesizes his most valuable insights from thirty-five years of teaching creative writing, a fine addition tobeloved writers’ advice on writing. One of his key observations is the crucial difference between “good writing” and “talented writing,” the former being largely the product of technique (and we know from H.P. Lovecraft that “no aspiring author should content himself with a mere acquisition of technical rules”), the other a matter of linguistic and aesthetic sensitivity:"