Light The Dark
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Light The Dark : Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

4.29 (255 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A stunning masterclass on the creative process, the craft of writing, and the art of finding inspiration from Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Roxane Gay, Neil Gaiman, and more of the most acclaimed writers at work today "For artists in need of a creative fix, Light the Dark is as good as a visit from the divine muse." -Bookpage

What inspires you? That's the simple, but profound question posed to forty-six renowned authors in LIGHT THE DARK. Each writer begins with a favorite passage from a novel, a song, a poem--something that gets them started and keeps them going with the creative work they love. From there, incredible lessons and stories of life-changing encounters with art emerge, like how sneaking books into his job as a night security guard helped Khaled Hosseini learn that nothing he creates will ever be truly finished. Or how a college reading assignment taught Junot Díaz that great art can be a healing conversation, and an unexpected poet led Elizabeth Gilbert to embrace an unyielding optimism, even in the face of darkness. LIGHT THE DARK collects the best of The Atlantic's much-acclaimed "By Heart" series edited by Joe Fassler and adds brand new pieces, each one paired with a striking illustration. Here is a guide to creative living and writing in the vein of Daily Rituals, Bird by Bird, Draft No. 4, and Big Magic for anyone who wants to learn how great writers find inspiration--and to find some of your own. CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Elizabeth Gilbert, Junot Díaz, Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Aimee Bender, Mary Gaitskill, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Roxane Gay, Angela Flournoy, Jonathan Franzen, Yiyun Li, Leslie Jamison, Claire Messud, Edwidge Danticat, David Mitchell, Khaled Hosseini, Ayana Mathis, Kathryn Harrison, Azar Nafisi, Hanya Yanagihara, Jane Smiley, Nell Zink, Emma Donoghue, Jeff Tweedy, Eileen Myles, Maggie Shipstead, Sherman Alexie, Andre Dubus III, Billy Collins, Lev Grossman, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Charles Simic, Jim Shepard, T.C. Boyle, Tom Perrotta, Viet Thanh Nguyen, William Gibson, Mark Haddon, Ethan Canin, Jesse Ball, Jim Crace, and Walter Mosley. "As [these authors] reveal what inspires them, they, in turn, inspire the reader, all while celebrating the beauty and purpose of art." -Booklist
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 17.78mm | 272.16g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0143130846
  • 9780143130840
  • 81,446

Review quote

"For artists in need of a creative fix, Light the Dark is as good as a visit from the divine muse." -Bookpage "These authors, with various backgrounds, tastes, and writing processes, demonstrate how an array of approaches can lead to stunning works. They emphasize the importance of creating a captivating voice and their struggles to mold opening sentences, but most important, they encourage aspiring artists to live fully, which will inform their writing. As they reveal what inspires them, they, in turn, inspire the reader, all while celebrating the beauty and purpose of art. With the personal appeal of Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing (1990) and Stephen King's On Writing (1999), this is a must for every writing-guide collection." -Booklist "Essays as intimate as journal entries." -Oprah, "The 18 Best Books to Pick Up This Month" "[Light the Dark] delves into the various ways a powerful encounter with art can shape the creative process." -Poets & Writers, "Best Books for Writers"

"The collection's best essays soar . . . The essays' variety and the heart and intelligence evident in many of them add up to a valuable book." -Publishers Weekly "Luminous and appealing." -Kirkus Reviews

"Ever wondered about the single most important piece of writing that Elizabeth Gilbert has ever read? Or what book most inspired a young Junot Díaz? Or, do you just need some words of encouragement about writing from Roxane Gay? Pick up Light the Dark. It's a collection of anecdotes and advice from some of the world's most important authors who have definitely been in your shoes before." -Hello Giggles "This is a book to treasure, one to read again and again." -CRAFT
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About Joe Fassler

Joe Fassler (Editor) is a writer based in Brooklyn. He regularly interviews authors for The Atlantic's "By Heart" series. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa MFA program, and his fiction has appeared in The Boston Review and Electric Literature. In 2011, his reporting for TheAtlantic.com was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in Journalism. He is currently a senior editor at The New Food Economy. Doug McLean (Illustrator) is an artist and illustrator based in the Boston area. He has an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University and has been contributing drawings for the "By Heart" series since 2013.
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Rating details

255 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 48% (123)
4 36% (91)
3 14% (36)
2 1% (3)
1 1% (2)
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