Learning how to revise may well be the most excruciating part of writing - frequently it is what makes or breaks new writers. Now, in this unique and highly useful book, Jay Woodruff gives some of America's finest contemporary writers an opportunity to talk with passion and professionalism about revision - about the hard work of their writing. Books on writing generally offer prescriptions and proscriptions about this "craft so hard to learn" instead of evidence. But in A Piece of Work Woodruff's incisive questions guide five writers - Tobias Wolff, Tess Gallagher, Robert Coles, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Hall - through specific examples that enable the reader to see how good writing becomes better. From the first draft through various revisions and finally to the printed version of a single piece of each author's work, Woodruff traces the full course of the revision process. While we might prefer to picture all authors as Coleridge, with the perfectly formed lines and stanzas of "Kubla Khan" emerging from a dream, the truth of the matter is that the development of a final text is often as much a hard-won discovery as it is an initial inspiration. A Piece of Work offers a road map to that discovery.