Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul
anthologizes 80 stories of heartwarming writerly success. As is the trademark of the Chicken Soup series, these are feel-good stories about unforgettable relatives, encouraging teachers, serendipitous encounters, memorable experiences, positive outlooks, and, yes, seemingly unbearable adversity. But even the most tragic stories here are written to inspire. In fact, the success of many of the contributors seems a direct result of their overwhelming misfortune: Christine Clifford parlayed her battle with breast cancer into a book of cancer-related cartoons (Not Now ... I'm Having a No Hair Day!
). After his son, Nicholas, was shot by highway robbers in Italy and Nicholas's organs were donated to seven ailing Italian children, Reg Green chronicled the experience inThe Nicholas Effect
. More than a decade after a professor squelched her pen by telling her that her writing "stinks," Catherine Lanigan rebounded and went on to writeRomancing the Stone
). And Barbara Jeanne Fisher managed to writeStolen Moments
, a romance, despite having five kids before embarking on a college degree, then being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and lupus.
Consuming the whole tureen's worth at once might be a bit much, but a spoonful here and there will help any struggling writer remember that they are part of a whole community of struggling writers. With contributions from Ernest J. Gaines, Terry McMillan, Sue Grafton, Steve Allen, George Plimpton, and Ray Bradbury. ...