AN ABSORBING ERRAND
An insightful examination of the creative process and how art-makers of all kinds create.
An Absorbing Errand uses stories of artists’ lives, personal anecdotes, and insights from the author’s work as a psychotherapist to examine the psychological obstacles that prevent people from staying with, and relishing, the process of art-making. Each chapter is devoted to a problem intrinsic to the creative process and illustrates how these very obstacles, once understood, can become prime sources of the energy that actually fuels the mastery of art-making.
Ultimately, An Absorbing Errand provides a philosophical, historical, and analytical look at the creative impulse and how certain artists from a variety of fields mastered their craft. From Julia Child to Charlie Chaplin, Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson, famous painters to established writers, Smith shows us how each overcame the obstacles they faced in the pursuit of their creative visions.
An Absorbing Errand is a supportive companion, an enlightened and compassionate ballast, a guide for anyone who has ever picked up a pencil to write, or a paint brush to paint, or any tool -from chisel to loom- to pursue any serious craft. It is unlike any book about creating art of any kind, and aspiring and working artists alike will find it both original and invaluable.
MY FATHER IS A BOOK
"Courageous… intimate… Smith is a passionate and uncompromising truth-teller, and it is by telling the truth that she has honored her father and mother as well as her readers."
Jonathan Kirsch, L.A. Times
"Beautiful… a profound portrait of a loving father."
"My Father Is a Book does what the best reminiscences of artists do: It leads us back to the work."
Edith Pearlman, The Boston Globe
"At once loving and lovely, a book worthy of [Malamud]."
Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"This beautifully written book should do much to rekindle interest in Malamud's work."
Heller McAlpin, Newsday
"Deserving… generous-spirited… compelling."
Steve Weinberg, San Francisco Chronicle
"Moving, unostentatiously eloquent... Analytical without being acrimonious, honest without wallowing in self-preening exposure, this is a wise, generous book full of insights..."
Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor
"Candid yet sensitive… exquisitely captures ‘the particular psychic pleasure and confusion’ of being the daughter of novelist/short-story writer Bernard Malamud… The author amply demonstrates that she has inherited her father's unblinking moral scrutiny and sympathy for the yearning heart."