full title Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

author Anne Lamott

type of work Nonfiction

genre Memoir/Writing Manual

language English

time and place written 1995; San Rafael, California

date of first publication October 1995

publisher Anchor Books

narrator Anne Lamott

point of view The author speaks exclusively in the first person, unless quoting another person or writer. She gives advice and speaks of her past experiences through memoir form.

tone The author is the narrator, and her attitude toward the story is straightforward and conversational. Her writing style is primarily subjective.

tense Present tense, except when describing past events

setting (time) Current; events take place between 1954–1995

setting (place) Northern California

protagonist Anne Lamott

major conflict None

rising action None

climax None

falling action None

themes Writing vs. publishing; the importance of faith to creativity; the creation of community

motifs: Memories; illness and dying; opposites

symbols Small things; photographs; church

foreshadowing None