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Noah Lukeman talks with Authorlink

editor-in-chief Doris Booth

about the art and mastery of punctuation

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An AUDIO interview with author and agent Noah Lukeman,

on his latest book for writers A Dash of Style

January 2006

Why did Poe and Melville rely on the semicolon? Why did Hemingway and Carver embrace the period? And why is it important to you as an author? The answers lie in Noah Lukeman's small—but essential— new book for writers, A DASH OF STYLE: THE ART AND MASTERY OF PUNCTUATION, to be released in April 2006 by W.W. Norton.

Noah Lukeman provides a wealth of wisdom on how to use punctuation—not as mere grammatical squiggles on the page, but as important creative tools for our craft. And he writes from real-world experience on two sides of the publishing desk. Noah is owner of Lukeman Literary Management, Ltd. in New York, which represents a number of prize-winning and bestselling authors. He has worked for two highly regarded publishers and Michael Ovitz's multitalent management company, Artists Management Group. Noah has talked on the subjects of writing and publishing at numerous forums, including the Wallace Stegner writing program at Stanford University. His previous books about writing—The First Five Pages and The Plot Thickens—have become bestsellers. The works stand way ahead of the usual how-to books, precisely because Lukeman himself is a thorough teacher and a highly creative thinker.

Now comes A Dash of Style, another necessary volume for the serious writer's library. Far from being another boring reference book, A Dash of Style looks at punctuation in a kind of upside down, inside out, entertaining manner, from a perspective one may never have viewed before. The lessons are invaluable for writers who want to improve both the way they think, and consequently the way they write. For example, in the brief audio interview on this page, he discusses how the use of paragraph breaks can actually affect the pacing of your story. A Dash of Style is a truly exciting way to view what once seemed like tedious old periods and commas.

Authorlink highly recommends A Dash of Style.

—Doris Booth



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