Thursday, January 24, 2013

Top ten books that began as speech

Sheila Heti latest novel, How Should a Person Be?, is structured on transcribed dialogues between her and her friends.

One of her top ten books that began as transcribed speech, as told to the Guardian:
Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel

Published in 1972, this groundbreaking book by the great American oral history genius documented America's relationship with work. Terkel spoke with prostitutes, housewives, gravediggers, everyone (many of the jobs included don't exist anymore, or don't exist in the same way). The monologues are crafted invisibly, and each voice is direct and distinct. "It's an automatic thing, waiting on people," says a washroom attendant. "It doesn't require any thought. It's almost a reflex action. I set my toilet articles up, towels – and I'm ready." Americans had never seen themselves quite so clearly before - and oral history became a more prominent form as a result.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Working is one of Daniel H. Pink's six favorite books about work.

--Marshal Zeringue