About The Author
I am a grammarian, rhetorician, and university literature professor (in equal parts) with a deep and abiding interest in and devotion to language; I teach a grammar course and several courses in American Jewish literature.
The name of my newest book is Grammar for Writers from Archway, Simon & Schuster. This book is a second and highly revised edition of my first grammar book, A Writer’s Grammar, published by Pearson. Both are designed for the person who has not studied grammar since seventh grade, and both assume little to no prior knowledge of grammar. Both books catalog the bones of English and how those bones join and work in combination to create sentences. Grammar for Writers explains grammatical concepts like nouns, verbs, verbals, free modifiers (like nominative absolutes), sentence patterns, kinds of sentences, combining sentences, and sentence transformations–and it also demonstrates the effects of grammatical choices on a writer’s sentences. Grammar for Writers features chapters on punctuation, usage, common rhetorical figures, passages for analysis, and a glossary.
My thinking about grammar is informed by Paul Roberts’ historic Understanding English, one book that initiated a rethinking of how we understand and teach grammar (1958); the several editions of Martha Kolln’s Understanding English Grammar; Max Morenberg’s Doing Grammar; Joseph Williams’s Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace; Weathers’ and Winchester’s The Strategy of Style, and the work of Constance Weaver—as well as more than 30 years of teaching grammar to high school and university students.
I live and teach in upstate New York and am a longtime owner of Standard Poodles; now we have two girls, Georgie (chocolate, age 7) and Passie (white, age 5). I would like to hear what you think of the book and am happy to receive your comments, queries, and dog stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.