Drawing back the curtain on the mysterious process of writing novels, The Secret Miracle brings together the world's best contemporary writers, the foremost practitioners of the craft to discuss how they write. Michael Chabon, Claire Messud, Jonathan Lethem, Amy Tan, Paul Auster, Roddy Doyle, Allegra Goodman, Aleksandar Hemon, Mario Vargas Llosa, Susan Minot, Rick Moody, Haruki Murakami, George Pelecanos, Gary Shteyngart, and others take students step by step through the alchemy of writing fiction, answering everything from nuts-and-bolts queries—“Do you outline?”—to perennial questions posed by writers and readers alike: “What makes a character compelling?”
From Stephen King’s deadpan distinction between novels and short stories (“Novels are longer and have more s**t in them”) to Colm Toibin’s anti-romanticized take on his characters (“They are just words”) to José Manuel Prieto’s mature perspective on the anxieties of influence (“Influences are felt or weigh you down more when young”), The Secret Miracle presents an insightful, honest, humorous, and oft-surprising master class workshop on the art of writing fiction.
The Novelist's Handbook
Daniel Alarcon, Ed.