“The life-changing message of ‘On Writing Well’ is: simplify your language and thereby find your humanity.”

William Zinsser was a lifelong journalist and nonfiction writer—he began his career on the New York Herald Tribune in 1946—and was also a teacher, best known for his book On Writing Well, a companion held in affection by three generations of writers, reporters, editors, teachers and students. His 18 other books range from commentary (The Writer Who Stayed), memoir (Writing Places; Writing About Your Life) to travel (American Places), jazz (Mitchell & Ruff), American popular song (Easy to Remember), baseball (Spring Training) and the craft of writing (Writing to Learn). During the 1970s he was at Yale University, where he was master of Branford College and taught the influential nonfiction workshop that would start many writers and editors on their careers. From 2010 - 11 he wrote a weekly blog for The American Scholar, "Zinsser on Friday" about the craft of writing, popular culture, and the arts. That column recently won The National Magazine Award for digital commentary and has now been published as a book, The Writer Who Stayed (Paul Dry Books).