The Accidental Life: An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers (Hardcover)

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A lot of writers and readers would love to get inside the head of the former editor-in-chief or managing editor of (among others) Rolling StoneSports Illustrated, and Esquire, and get insight into the minds of many of the writers and friends who this person he has published, including Hunter S. Thompson, Tom McGuane, Edward Abbey, James Salter, Kurt Vonnegut, and Jim Harrison. Meet Terry McDonell in his Accidental Life, an enlightening, fascinating and fun book.

— From 2016 releases


An Amazon Best Book of 2016
A celebration of the writing and editing life, as well as a look behind the scenes at some of the most influential magazines in America (and the writers who made them what they are).

You might not know Terry McDonell, but you certainly know his work. Among the magazines he has top-edited: Outside, Rolling Stone, Esquire, andSports Illustrated.In this revealing memoir, McDonell talks about what really happens when editors and writers work with deadlines ticking (or drinks on the bar). His stories about the people and personalities he's known are both heartbreaking and bitingly funny playing acid golf with Hunter S. Thompson, practicing brinksmanship with David Carr and Steve Jobs, working the European fashion scene with Liz Tilberis, pitching TV pilots with Richard Price.
Here, too, is an expert's practical advice on how to recruit and keep high-profile talent; what makes a compelling lede; how to grow online traffic that translates into dollars; and how, in whatever format, on whatever platform, a good editor really works, and what it takes to write well.
Taking us from the raucous days of New Journalism to today's digital landscape, McDonell argues that the need for clear storytelling from trustworthy news sources has never been stronger. Says Jeffrey Eugenides: Every time I run into Terry, I think how great it would be to have dinner with him. Hear about the writers he's known and edited over the years, what the magazine business was like back then, how it's changed and where it's going, inside info about Edward Abbey, Jim Harrison, Annie Proulx, old New York, and the Swimsuit issue. That dinner is this book.

About the Author

TERRY McDONELLhas won numerous awards for his editorial work at various magazines and websites. He is also a novelist and poet, and has written and produced for film and television. In 2012 he was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. He is the president of the board of the Paris Review Foundation and serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review. He lives in New York City."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781101946718
ISBN-10: 1101946717
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2016
Pages: 384
Language: English