A book of Estimable Value

When I graduated high school, I promised myself I would never write another book report. Well, like most vows and New Year’s resolutions, there comes a reckoning.
I must pass on to you the excellent book by Noah Lukeman: A Dash of Style , W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2006. Lukeman is an author and a literary agent (Lukeman Literary Management, LTD), who shares his knowledge of punctuation as creative writing tools. Using simple, conversational language, the author describes how clarity and enhanced style can result from understanding how masters of writing such as Poe, Melville, Hemingway, and others used punctuation. Along with the major marks (period, comma, semicolon, colon, quotation marks, dash, and parentheses), he discusses little-scrutinized tools such as short sentences versus long sentences and paragraph and section breaks, including comments for poets on line breaks.
If you have been looking for a way to clear up confusion over punctuation, this is the book. Especially helpful is his perspective. He is a literary agent, who has read hundreds of manuscripts. His insight and advice may help your writing get by that first critical read by editors and agents. The book can be found at your local library or at Amazon at varying prices.

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