janet burroway > books

Writing Fiction, textbook, tenth edition, 2019, University of Chicago Press

The tenth edition of the classic text is a lean version containing the entire text but instead of sample stories, a list of ten stories at the end of each chapter that can illustrate the concepts discussed. It includes new topics and writing prompts, and the examples and quotations throughout the book feature a wide and diverse range of today’s best and best-known creators of both novels and short stories.

"the bible on narrative craft."  --Debra Spark, author of Coconut for the Saint, and The Pretty Girl

"…the UR-writing text, Writing Fiction."  --Jesse Lee Kercheval, University of Wisconsin, Madison


Losing Tim: The Life and Death of an American Contractor in Iraq, memoir (Think Piece Publishing.)

"I cannot express my gratitude to Ms. Burroway for writing this soul-searching book, a comfort to no one yet a blessing for all, or express my sorrow for the children we Americans sent to survive as best they could a dishonorable and unnecessary war."  --Bob Shacochis, National Book Award recipient, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

"Burroway—a masterful shaper of stories—examines the loss of her son with an archeologist's precision and care…This book brings a piercing clarity to what it means to lose, to grieve, to give everything, and to love."  --Marya Hornbacher, author of Madness, a Bipolar Life, and The Center of Winter


Raw Silk, novel, reissued 2014 as an ebook (Open Road Media)

Janet Burroway's critically acclaimed novel, which The New Yorker hailed as "enormously enjoyable" and Newsweek as "a novel of rare and lustrous quality," is the story of a woman whose unraveling marriage sends her on a personal odyssey halfway around the world to Japan.

"She writes likes a robust angel."  --The Guardian, London


Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, textbook (Pearson, 2014)

The fourth edition of Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft has new examples in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama as well as new and expanded "Try This" exercises and an expanded discussion of poetry, with prompts for poetic development.

"engaging, witty, specific, absolutely clear and propelled by the kind of energetic prose that inspires students to write well."  --Porter Shreve, UNC Greensboro


A Story Larger Than My Own: Women Writers Look back at Their Lives and Careers, essays, editor (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

In A Story Larger than My Own, Janet Burroway brings together essays and poems by nineteen accomplished women, all now over the age of sixty, who challenged the status quo and paved the way for future generations of writers. Taken together, their stories offer advice from experience to writers at all stages of their careers and serve as a collective memoir of a truly remarkable cohort of women.

"A Story Larger than My Own is an essential book, for women writers, for all writers, for readers, for people with mothers, for people who remember their mothers."  --Cris Mazza, author of Something Wrong with Her


Bridge of Sand, novel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2009; Hopcyn Press {London} 2013)

Dana, the widow of a Pennsylvania senator, buries her husband the morning of 9/11, only miles from the United 93 crash. After months of paralysis, she sells her house and heads south in an effort to pick up the lost strands of her youth

"This book will stay with you long after you've turned the last page."  --Jane Alexander

"It is energetic, sophisticated, simultaneously cynical and tender, and acutely aware of the dangers of so many hard things—of love and passion, of the commitment to friends and family, of the land as it tries to hold out a little longer against violation. Burroway refuses to sentimentalize the costs of race and class and stubborn local custom."  --Rosellen Brown, author of Tender Mercies and Half a Heart


From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction, nonfiction, editor, by Robert Olen Butler, (Grove Press 2005)

"Incisive and provocative… a must for anyone even thinking about writing fiction."  --Donna Seaman, Booklist


Embalming Mom: Essays in Life, essays (University of Iowa Press 2002)

Sixteen essays of wit, rage and reconciliation chronicle loss and renaissance in a life that reaches from Florida to Arizona across to England and back again.

"The most lively, witty, uncensored celebration of the life of a writer… bold and brilliant portraits of where we have been and where we are headed."  --Julia Markus, author of Lady Byron and Her Daughters and Dared and Done


Cutting Stone, novel (Houghton Mifflin, 1992, and Victor Gollancz, London, 1992; paperback edition Pinnacle Books (division of Zebra, Inc.) Oct. l993; paperback edition, Indigo Books, Victor Gollancz June l996)

"Cutting Stone is about many things, but perhaps most centrally it is about the mines and quarries of the human heart, and the myriad ways we delve into, gouge out, and transform ourselves." --Jonathan Spence, MacArthur recipient and author of The Question of Hu


Opening Nights, novel (Atheneum, 1985, and Gollancz, July 1985; Paperback Edition, Bantam Books, New York, June 1986; Book-of-the-Month-Club alternate selection; Swedish translation, Plats pa Scene, Bonniers, Stockholm, 1987; Radio adaptation from Actors Repertory Theatre and the FSU School of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts, transmitted on WFSU summer l996)

"exhilarating, vivid, and precise."   --The L.A.Times

"a fine and complex novel, a comedy and then some."  --The New Yorker


Material Goods, poetry (University Presses of Florida, Sept. 1980)

"…a poetry of the spoken voice, heard and overheard, a reminder of the humanity shared by poet and reader"   --David Daiches


Raw Silk, novel (Little, Brown, March 1977; nominated for the National Book Award, l977; Victor Gollancz, Ltd., London, July 1977; condensed in Redbook Magazine, Jan. 1976; condensed in Cosmopolitan (London), July 1977; serialized in Cleo (Australia), 1977-78; paperback edition, Pocket Books, New York, March 1979. Second paperback edition Bantam Books, N.Y., June 1986.)

"Janet Burroway is a writer singularly in control—of emotion, of intellect, of language. One is tempted to call it a masterpiece."  --MS. Magazine

"Burroway's depth of understanding of the complexities of male-female relationships carries Raw Silk to an inevitable and honest ending, and her luminous style will engage and delight."  --The Washington Post


The Buzzards, novel, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, 1970 (Little, Brown, and Co., Boston 1969; Faber and Faber, London, 1970)

"The sense of raw mysterious reality is overwhelming… Its subtlety fully matches that of its subject and it yields more of the truth about the dilemma of American democracy than 10 times its weight in political science."   --The Daily Telegraph, U.K.


Eyes, novel (Faber and Faber, London, 1966; Little, Brown, and Co., Boston 1966)

"Miss Burroway is intelligent, warm-hearted but detached, and particularly good on the unspoken-of elements in difficult relationships; she goes on writing better and better."


The Dancer from the Dance, novel (Faber and Faber, London, 1965; Little, Brown and Co., Boston 1967)

"Her style has the precision of John Updike's and the charm of Conan Doyle's… and her novel contains some of the most dazzling bits of description I have come across."  --The New York Times Book Review

"…as tiresome a novel as you will meet in a day's march."  --The Daily Telegraph, U.K.


Descend Again, novel (Faber and Faber, London, 1960)

"Her concentrated evocation of the dusty little town is superb."  --The Times Literary Supplement

"She makes the impact of an original."  --The New Statesman, U.K.


But to the Season, poetry (Keele University Press, 1961)

"When is the last time you read poetry about relationships rather than the self?"  --The Bristol Gazette, U.K.


So, Is It Done? Navigating the Revision Process, CD, text and narration by Janet Burroway, (Elephant Rock Productions, Chicago, 2005)

"Burroway talks about revision with class and grace… she encourages you to work harder than you ever imagined, partly because she believes in you and partly because you want to make her proud."  --The Writer



For Children

The Giant Jam Sandwich, (Jonathan Cape 1972; reissue Random House 2012; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1973; Pan paperback edition, 1975; televised by the BBC, London, 1977; read on Captain Kangaroo 1977; Paperback edition Sandpiper, Boston, 1987; Paperback edition, Piccolo, London, l988; board book edition 2010; Macmillan 2011; Random House, U.K., 2011; adapted for the stage and produced by the Forest Stag in Wilderness Woods, Sussex, England, 2016; performed in musical adaptation by New Perspectives Theatre Company, various venues in the U.K. 2017)

When a plague of wasps flies into Itching Down, the villagers know just how to trap them! With a giant jam sandwich.

"This tall tale has something to please all ages."  --Boston Globe


The Truck on the Track, (Jonathan Cape 1970; Bobbs-Merrill 1971; Xlibris 2012; Jr. Literary Guild Selection, 1971; Pan paperback edition, London, 1972; Televised by the BBC, London, 1975; in development as a cartoon series by Naked Emperor Productions, Australia.)

Barney Bros. Circus is on the road—but when their truck gets stuck on the railroad track, what will they do? Will the Cook shriek? Will the Imp stamp? Will the Grump thump? What if the train comes clakkity-clakking?!

Available from online sources and the author.

The Perfect Pig, (College Street Music, 2012)

Pig is unhappy. He's not perfect. He's pink and plump and has none of the perfectly magnificent fur, fins, tails or horns of the other animals. All his friends offer to give him their best features… but does that make him a more perfect pig?

Available from the author.

The Giant Jam Sandwich, The Truck on the Track and The Perfect Pig have all been scored for orchestra by composer Philip Wharton and performed by the Iowa City String Orchestra under the direction of Carey Bostian, and by other orchestras in various venues in the U.S.

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