Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
By Lewis Hyde
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307279507, 464pp.)
Publication Date: December 4, 2007
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By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. Widely available again after twenty-five years, this book is even more necessary today than when it first appeared. An illuminating and transformative book, and completely original in its view of the world, The Gift is cherished by artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers. It is in itself a gift to all who discover the classic wisdom found in its pages.
Lewis Hyde was born in Boston in 1945 and studied at both Minnesota and Iowa universities. His hugely acclaimed essay, "Alcohol and Poetry: John Berryman and the Booze Talking," in part sprang out of his experiences as an alcoholism counselor, but he is also a highly regarded poet in his own right whose poetry and essays have been widely published. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a former director of creative writing at Harvard and, alongside The Gift, he is the author of the equally acclaimed Trickster Makes This World. He lives in Ohio, where he is completing a third book.
“The best book I know of for talented but unacknowledged creators. . . . A masterpiece.” —Margaret Atwood
“No one who is invested in any kind of art . . . can read The Gift and remain unchanged.” —David Foster Wallace
“Few books are such life-changers as The Gift: epiphany, in sculpted prose.” —Jonathan Lethem
“A manifesto of sorts for anyone who makes art [and] cares for it.” —Zadie Smith
“This long-awaited new edition of Lewis Hyde's groundbreaking and influential study of creativity is a cause for across-the-board celebration.” —Geoff Dyer