How Creativity Works
Publication Date: February 2011
List Price: $24.99*
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How did Richard Ford's cat influence his work as a novelist? HOW is Chuck Close's portraiture driven by his inability to remember faces? What pivotal moment helped Rosanne Cash understand the healing power of the stage?
Creativity is an elusive subject. We enjoy its fruits movies, novels, paintings, songs but rarely are we privy to what happens in the creative process. In Spark, Julie Burstein traces the roots of some of the twenty-first century's most influential and creative thinkers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Yo-Yo Ma, David Milch, Isabel Allende, and Joshua Redman. Burstein pulls back the curtain to reveal the sources of these artists' inspiration and the processes that bring their work into being.
"These artists may not change lead into gold," Burstein writes, "but they lift materials from their familiar contexts, combining, reshaping, transforming them into works of art that change the way we see the world." Spark is an invaluable resource for the aspiring writer and artist, but the need for creativity extends well beyond the world of paintbrushes and typewriters. Creativity is integral to business, parenting, education, science, and, perhaps most poignantly, our personal relationships. Rarely do books on creativity illuminate and inspire; this marvelous volume will help you find a spark of your own.
Kurt Andersen is an author and essayist. He has also written for film, television, and the stage and has contributed to the "New Yorker", "Vanity Fair", and "Time". He is also host and cocreator of "Studio 360", the Peabody Award winning cultural magazine show produced by Public Radio International and WNYC and broadcast on 140 stations to 500,000 listeners each week. He cofounded the transformative independent magazine "Spy", which was nominated for two National Magazine Awards.
“Spark is a beautiful book, enjoyable and filled with life...You will find yourself contemplating the origin of the little lights, the sparks, which show themselves only when someone special looks within.”
“This is a book about joy, drive and art, work that we’re all capable of if we’ll only commit.”
-Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
“Through enlightening conversations, these creative individuals demonstrate how they lift raw materials out of familiar contexts and create art that changes how we perceive the world.”
“Burstein offers enlightening answers from the culture’s heavy hitters, as well as the process by which they stoked these embers into a roaring fire, and how you, yes, you, might too.”
“Spark is an encyclopedia of inspiration plucked from today’s most revered creators, leaving you not with a one-size-fits-all blueprint to creativity but with a petri dish of eclectic insights for you to distill, cross-pollinate and fertilize into a richer understanding of your own creative life.”
-Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
“How better to learn about creativity than to talk with some of the world’s most creative people.”
-Detroit Free Press