'For a writer, voice is a problem that never lets you go, and I have thought about it for as long as I can remember - if for no other reason than that a writer doesn't properly begin until he has a voice of his own.' What makes good writing good? In his brilliant new book, Al Alvarez argues that it is the development of the voice - voice as distinct from style - that makes a writer great. A poet as well as a critic, Al Alvarez approaches his subject both as an informed observer and an insider. Here are - among others - Sylvia Plath, John Donne, Jean Rhys, Shakespeare, TS Eliot, Coleridge and W.B. Yeats, dissected with clarity, depth and a profound understanding of the mechanics of writing. Like the best literary criticism, The Writer's Voice makes writing come vividly alive. Written with passion and insight, it is the ideal gift for anyone who loves to read.