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Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process
Contributor(s): Fassler, Joe (Editor), Mclean, Doug (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0143130846     ISBN-13: 9780143130840
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: September 2017
Annotation: Successful authors, including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Jonathan Franzen, describe the stories and life-changing encounters that inspired them to write and to continue creating.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.).
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Composition & Creative Writing.; bisacsh
BISAC Categories:
- Self-help | Creativity
- Literary Collections | Essays
- Language Arts & Disciplines | Composition & Creative Writing
Dewey: 153.35
LCCN: 2017003038
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.00" H x 5.50" W x 1.00" (0.68 lbs) 334 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): 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 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.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 June #4)

Asking writers to write about writing is a fraught proposition (is there anything new left to say?), but editor Fassler (Night Music) includes many gems among this anthology's 46 entries. Using the approach that he developed for the Atlantic's online series "By Heart," where some of these pieces were first published, Fassler asks each writer to find a life-changing passage of literature and make a case for why it matters. The collection's best essays soar; they include Mary Gaitskill on a scene from Anna Karenina, Tom Perrotta on Our Town's sense of ordinariness, and Ayana Mathis on James Baldwin and race. Stephen King, as always, is masterful on writing's nuts and bolts, in this case writing about a novel's opening sentence. The strongest essays focus on close readings of texts. Weaker essays become about the author and meander into clichés, such as that writing takes courage or that writers must trust themselves. The book would have benefited from brief author bios: not every writer is a household name. Nevertheless, the essays' variety and the heart and intelligence evident in many of them add up to a valuable book, one that leads readers back to treasured classics and forward to the works of these contemporary authors. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.