Thursday, May 14, 2015

William Zinsser, RIP

Douglas Martin:

William Zinsser, a writer, editor and teacher whose book “On Writing Well” sold more than 1.5 million copies by employing his own literary craftsmanship to urge clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 92.


Mr. Zinsser went beyond [Strunk and White’s] admonitions on writerly dos and don’ts; he used his professional experience to immerse readers in the tribulations of authorship, even subconscious ones.

Zinsser’s book is one of my two favorites about writing. I’d recommend On Writing Well for the bigger picture and Style: Toward Clarity and Grace for the more nitty gritty.

Update (2015-05-17): On Writing Well is available at the Internet Archive (via Hacker News).

John Gruber:

I could not recommend that book any more highly. Everyone could benefit from reading it — and, every few years, re-reading it. A classic for the ages.

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