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Book Review: "Work Hard, Not Smart"

by Alexis Paige




This immensely humorous collection of essays by Alexis Paige manages to convince readers to do what seems impossible: not only accept ourselves, but revel in the quirks and non sequiturs of our uniqueness.


Cleverly titled to describe her often chaotic creative life, the book is technically about the craft of writing. But like Stephen King’s ON WRITING and Anne Lamotte’s BIRD BY BIRD, the real gold nuggets are the insights Ms. Paige has experienced about herself. Despite an addiction problem, serving two months in prison for drunk driving and being diagnosed at the age of 40 with ADHD, the inattentive type, she’s managed not only to carve out a rich literary life as an associate professor at a small college in Vermont, but embrace every imperfect part of herself.


To Ms. Paige’s credit, she also includes a very thought-provoking essay about her passion for about social justice. From her position as a white writer, she wrangles with the blindnesses inherently held by those in our society’s dominant race regarding other races and ethnicities.


Very illuminating!

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For updates about Martha’s forthcoming books, news and giveaways, subscribe to her website: MarthaEngber.com.


THE FALCON, THE WOLF AND THE HUMMINGBIRD a historical novel, Sept. 19, 2023


BLISS ROAD, a memoir


WINTER LIGHT, a novel


THE WIND THIEF, a novel


GROWING GREAT CHARACTERS, a resource for writers


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