Haven’t you said you always wanted to write that novel? Well, this is as good a time as any, so here is some inspiration and wisdom to get you started.
The National Book Award-winning author of Year of the Monkey, Just Kids, and M Train offers a rare, intimate account of her own creative process.
In Devotion, Patti Smith first presents a tale of obsession—a young skater who lives for her art, a possessive collector who ruthlessly seeks his prize, a relationship forged of need. She then takes us on a second journey, exploring the sources of her story. We travel through the South of France to Camus’s house and visit the garden of Gallimard. Smith tracks down Simone Weil’s grave in a lonely cemetery, hours from London, and winds through the nameless Paris streets of Patrick Modiano’s novels. Smith generously opens her notebooks and lets us glimpse the alchemy of her craft.
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The second book in the Why I Write series provides generous insight into the creative process of the award-winning Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard.
To write, for the Norwegian artist, is to resist easy thinking and preconceived notions that inhibit awareness of our lives. Knausgaard writes to “erode [his] own notions about the world. . . . It is one thing to know something, another to write about it.” The key to enhanced living is the ability to hit upon something inadvertently, to regard it from a position of defenselessness and unknowing. A deeply personal meditation, Inadvertent is a cogent and accessible guide to the creative process of one of our most prolific and ingenious artists.
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Drawing lessons from writers of all ages and writing across genres, a distinguished teacher and writer reveals the enduring importance of writing for our time.
In this new contribution to Yale University Press’s Why X Matters series, a distinguished writer and scholar tackles central questions of the discipline of writing. Drawing on his own experience with such mentors as John Updike, John Gardner, and James Baldwin, and in turn having taught such rising stars as Jesmyn Ward, Delbanco looks in particular at questions of influence and the contradictory, simultaneous impulses toward imitation and originality. Part memoir, part literary history, and part analysis, Why Writing Matters will resonate with students, writers, writing teachers, and bibliophiles.