A Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year, 2012
In the tradition of E.M. Forster, John Gardner, and James Wood, Douglas Glover has produced a book on writing at once erudite, anecdotal, instructive, and amusing. Attack of the Copula Spiders represents the accumulated wisdom of a remarkable literary career: novelist, short story writer, essayist, teacher and mentor, Glover has for decades been asking the vital questions. How does the way we read influence the way we write? What do craft books fail to teach aspiring writers about theme, about plot and subplot, about constructing point of view? How can we maintain drama on the level of the sentence—and explain drama in the sentences of others? What is the relationship of form and art? How do you make words live?
Whether his subject is Alice Munro, Cervantes, or the creative writing classroom, Glover’s take is frank and fresh, demonstrating again and again that graceful writers must first be strong readers. This collection is a call-to-arms for all lovers of English, and Attack of the Copula Spiders our best defense against the assaults of a post-literate age.
Praise for Attack of the Copula Spiders
“Glover is a master of narrative structure.” — Wall Street Journal
“A master of narrative structure.” – Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life, Wall Street Journal
“So sharp, so evocative, that the reader sees well beyond the tissue of words into … the author’s poetic grace.” – The New Yorker
“Glover invents his own assembly of critical approaches and theories that is eclectic, personal, scholarly, and smart … a direction for future literary criticism to take.” – The Denver Quarterly
“A ribald, raunchy wit with a talent for searing self-investigation.” – The Globe and Mail
“Knotty, intelligent, often raucously funny.” – Maclean’s
“Passionately intricate.” – The Chicago Tribune
“Darkly humorous, simultaneously restless and relentless.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Impressive, enjoyable, and highly instructive … This is not literary craft reduced to statistical formulae and write-by-the-numbers word-bytes. Glover’s admirable ability and patient willingness to cast a careful—not cold—eye on what makes sentences hum and flow is fueled by a vital, infectious fascination with words, enabling him to reveal the inspired, alchemical, verbal concatenation at work in the most alluring and memorable fiction writing.”—Review of Contemporary Fiction
“For the budding writer, Attack of the Copula Spiders offers an excellent primer on the basics; the practiced writer will glean so much more from Glover’s wonderful literary experience.”—The Los Angeles Review of Books
“Douglas Glover, the award-winning Canadian writer of fiction, short stories and essays carries within him a huge sense of duty both to the craft of writing and to the language … I stand before it in awe … This is a book for all writers and for any creative writing class syllabus.” —Telegraph-Journal
“Every literate person in the country should be reading Glover’s essays” —The Globe & Mail