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

Penguin. Sept. 2017. 352p. ed. by . ISBN 9780143130840. pap. $17; ebk. ISBN 9781524704643. LIT
OrangeReviewStarIn this collection of 46 essays from the Atlantic's "By Heart" series, writer Fassler (Night Music) brings together thoughts on reading, writing, and the experience of the written word by some of today's most recognizable authors. It would be easy to say that Fassler presents a string of musings on words that stir the soul, but these essays consider more than the power of literature to inspire; they speak to the power of words on family, lived experience, personal mantras, ideals, perception, etc. While the title suggests that the collection is concerned with creativity and the artistic process, it would be a mistake to assume that this is a treatise on the daily habits of writers, or even on the art of composition. Those curious to learn what makes their favorites author tick will find plenty here to engage their interest, but this is not a writer's guide.
VERDICT Bibliophiles and writers alike will embrace the narratives and literary references, which offer much in the way of inspiration. It will be particularly useful for book clubs or discussion groups.
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