Author(s): Joe Fassler
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 DYaz 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, and Big Magic for anyone who wants to learn how great writers find inspiration-and how to find some of your own. Contributing Authors- Elizabeth Gilbert, Junot DYaz, 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 Than Nguyen, William Gibson, Mark Haddon, Ethan Canin, Jessie Ball, Jim Crace, and Walter Mosley.
"Luminous and appealing." -Kirkus Reviews
Joe Fassler (Editor) is a writer based in Brooklyn. He regularly interviews authors for The Atlantic's oBy Hearto 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 oBy Hearto series since 2013.