The author Tania James shares a lesson she gleaned from a book about a poacher: The best prose comes from experimenting with new perspectives.
The author Yasmina Reza says that Borges taught her fiction, like joy, is borne of mysterious, instinctual processes achieved in an unconscious state.
The author Reif Larsen says Joseph Conrad and Anselm Kiefer taught him how to practice omission without infuriating his readers.
When novelist Harriet Lane received a serious diagnosis, she started telling stories that let her meet anxiety on her own terms.
Author Katherine Heiny describes how the best details in fiction can be ripped from small talk and eavesdropped conversations on the bus.
The writer draws inspiration from Art Spiegelman's Breakdowns, "a toolkit to think about humor using comics."
Writer Thomas Pierce finds inspiration in the concise beauty of Theodore Roethke's notebooks.
The songwriter-producer collaborated with author Michael Chabon on his new album.
Steven Pinker finds insight into the frailty of human nature within Measure for Measure.
Highlights from 12 months of interviews with writers about their craft and the authors they love
National Book Awards finalist Emily St. John Mandel says pomp and circumstance can derail the everyday work of creating complex, flawed characters.
Peter Stamm, author of All Days Are Night, says his work became deeper once he shed some delusions of grandeur.
The creator of a new documentary outlines how closely farmworkers' lives are connected to what's on grocery-store shelves
American Interior author and rock musician Gruff Rhys learned a lot by following in footsteps of a gullible pioneer.
Reading Lolita in Tehran author Azar Nafisi says the best books are "republics of imagination" erasing national and historic boundaries.
According to science fiction writer William Gibson, a book's opening should be an inviting enigma to the reader—and a motivational benchmark for the writer.
A panicked moment reciting William Butler Yeats in an MRI convinced the former poet laureate Billy Collins that oration is poetry's last, most enlightened defense.
Ernest Hemingway's matter-of-fact style taught author Vikram Chandra to find sublime in the ordinary, and depth in deceptively flat prose.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley looks to Our Mutual Friend for inspiration on how to harness the spontaneous, liberating energy that comes from writing imagery.
A crisis of quality in literary criticism led Robert Silvers to found The New York Review of Books—and he believes the crisis continues today, online.