Writers Recommend

In this online exclusive we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. We see this as a place for writers to turn to for ideas that will help feed their creative process.

Jonathan Lethem


“Have lucky things. It doesn't matter what they are. I bought a green cardigan sweater for a quarter at a thrift store in Bennington, Vermont, and wore it nearly every day through the writing of my first three novels,

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Adrian Blevins


“I try—and I fail all the time as I am very idea oriented—to leave my desk and take a walk or a drive and just look at the world more closely,

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T. C. Boyle


“I’ve been inspired by a whole host of music and writing, as is evident especially in my short stories.

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Mary Jo Bang


“I take notes all the time—when I watch a movie, when I listen to a talk, when I ride on the subway or sit in a waiting room.

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Laura van den Berg


“Seek out influence. When I’m stuck on how to do something, I’ll reread a book that accomplishes what I am attempting

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Debra Spark


“I am, for the first time in my writing life, consciously taking a break from writing.

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Dara Wier


“My childhood location, south of New Orleans, on the banks of the Mississippi River leaned me toward inclinations I think help with poetry’s desires

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John Haskell


“Over the years a number of things (film, theater, writing, music, etcetera) have become catalysts and have boosted me in my writing.

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Joshua Mohr


“I'm not sure many people think of insomnia as a good thing, but it is. As a ‘sufferer,’ I'm up until five or six in the morning almost daily.

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Irene Sabatini


“I wrote The Boy Next Door in Geneva, Switzerland and one of the biggest challenges for me was to capture the essence of life in Zimbabwe, particularly the second largest city, Bulawayo, in the eighties, which was a delicate period: optimism and hope (Zimbabwe was newly independent after a

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