Study Guide

Bird by Bird Tone

By Anne Lamott

Tone

Snarky but Hopeful

Okay, we know it sounds a little weird to describe the tone as snarky and hopeful, but Lamott totally is. You know how Parks and Recreation pokes a bit of fun at Leslie's super ambitious approach to meetings or Ron's libertarian objections to his own job, yet we still really want both characters to be happy?

That's the kind of thing Lamott is great at pulling off, but she does it with a bit of a San Francisco twist. She probably knows more hippies than libertarians, and she's more likely to be commenting on sushi than small-town hamburgers, but she sure manages to combine snark and empathy in a way that makes her a great writing teacher.

Snark and awe. It's a great combination.

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