Word for Word is a finalist for Story Circle's 2021 women's writing award for books with a "compelling way they honor the lives of women."
Word for Word was also named an Editor's Pick by BookLife as a "book of outstanding quality: "It "pulses with intellectual discussions, lived feminist history and its resultant tensions, and the fascinating literary milieu Laurie Lisle encounters at writing retreats…She's admirably frank about her inner world of vacillation and offers compelling insights and anecdotes of a writing life. This unconventional memoir details one accomplished woman writer's dedication to developing her voice. It's great for fans of Vivian Gornick's Fierce Attachments, Rebecca Solnit's Recollections of My Nonexistence."
"Lisle meticulously and thoughtfully sets down the currents of history and the schools of feminist thought that shaped her as a woman and a writer...[Her] quiet grit carries her through to professional acclaim and personal satisfaction."
"This is a brave and beautifully written memoir, instructive and inspiring. Given Lisle's willingness to delve deep into her own motivations—and those of the people she knew and loved—the book provides a fascinating, unsparing account of the challenging process of becoming a successful writer..."
- Holly Peppe, PhD
"This book is an adventure I never knew I needed as a writer...Lisle is ever a timeless artist in her medium of words and their arrangement...Freedom flitted off these pages. Whether the reader works in literary circles or simply desires to read about the life of an intentionally perseverant woman, I wholeheartedly recommend this work."
- Kidron Tirey, NetGalley
"Lisle draws on extensive personal archives and her training as a journalist to recount a career shaped by second-wave feminism. With references to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, and Betty Friedan, the author ties her life to literature, finding guidance and solidarity in the work of women writers...[readers] will enjoy the frank discussion of her successes and disappointments pursuing a 'writer's life.'"
~ Library Journal