The Art of Revision: The Last Word

Peter Ho Davies
Published in 2021
by Graywolf Press

The fifteenth and final volume in Graywolf’s preeminent Art of series is a long-overdue and deeply satisfying exploration of a frequently discussed yet widely misunderstood and underestimated aspect of every writer’s working life. Peter Ho Davies, the author of three novels, including A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself (Mariner Books, 2021), and two story collections, begins his careful study of revision by addressing its invisibility, with the majority of readers and writers seeing only the final draft. Davies uses examples from his own books as well as from the work of other writers, including Raymond Carver, Carmen Maria Machado, and Flannery O’Connor, to illustrate his points. By turns deeply personal and intellectually rigorous, The Art of Revision: The Last Word is a moving appeal to writers on the importance of reflecting not only on their process, but also on their lives. 

Read an excerpt from The Art of Revision here.