The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry (Paperback)

The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry By Stacey D'Erasmo Cover Image
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The author of The Art of Intimacy asks eight legendary artists: What has sustained you in the long run?

How do we keep doing this—making art? Stacey D’Erasmo had been writing for twenty years and had published three novels when she asked herself this question. She was past the rush of her first books and wondering what to expect—how to stay alive in her vocation—in the decades ahead.

She began to interview older artists she admired to find out how they’d done it. She talked to Valda Setterfield about her sixty-year career that took her from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company to theatrical collaborations with her husband to roles in films. She talked to Samuel R. Delany about his vast oeuvre of books in many genres. She talked to Amy Sillman about working between painting and other media and between abstraction and figuration. She talked to landscape architect Darrel Morrison, composer Tania Léon, actress Blair Brown, and musician Steve Earle, and started to see connections between them and to artists across time: Colette, David Bowie, Ruth Asawa. She found insights in own experience, about what has driven and thwarted and shaped her as a writer.

Instead of easy answers or a road map, The Long Run offers one practitioner’s conversations, anecdotes, confidences, and observations about sustaining a creative life. Along the way, it radically redefines artistic success, shifting the focus from novelty and output and external recognition toward freedom, fluidity, resistance, community, and survival.

About the Author

Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of the novels Tea, A Seahorse Year, The Sky Below, Wonderland, and The Complicities, and the nonfiction book The Art of Intimacy. She is a professor of writing and publishing practices at Fordham University.

Praise For…

“D’Erasmo explores not just what it means to have a long career in the arts, but what it means to be an artist, to be queer, and to be a citizen of the Earth, making this book a unique contribution to the canon of work about the life of an artist. Artists of all kinds will find inspiration and good company within these thoughtful essays.”Kirkus (starred review)

“Novelist D’Erasmo (The Complicities) takes a rewarding deep dive into why—and how—artists are able to go on making art. . . . Artists seeking inspiration would do well to check this out.” —Publishers Weekly

“Alongside deeply personal observations of cities, lineage, queerness, and life itself, a self-portrait emerges. . . . The Long Run is at once a record of long, fulfilling careers in the arts and a study of how they can come to be.”—Poets & Writers

“Plenty of artists burn brightly for a short (or viral) spell but can’t sustain creative momentum. Others manage to keep creating over decades, weathering career ups and downs, remaining committed to their visions, and adapting to new media. Novelist Stacey D’Erasmo wanted to know how they do it, so she talked with eight artists, including author Samuel R. Delany and poet and visual artist Cecelia Vicuña, to learn the secrets to their longevity.”— Claire Kirch, The Millions

“Oh, how I needed this book! Stacey D'Erasmo has given us a tender and fascinating lineage of artists who demonstrate the myriad ways to build a life around an artistic practice and sustain it. Between their stories emerges her own gorgeous and intimate memoir, a queer künstlerroman that had me rapt. Every moment of reading these pages felt like ingesting a delicious, life-saving tonic. What a gift of a book.”—Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“Stacey D’Erasmo is one of my favorite writers, full stop. For years, I’ve been learning from her, admiring her wisdom and style, attempting to emulate her cool. I suspected she held secrets about how to really live, and I was right. Here she offers wisdom in the form of portraits—appreciations—each one precise, wondrous, meditative, often sexy, and exquisitely wrought. The Long Run is a revelation. A book about sustaining an artistic practice, yes, but also a book that offers sustenance itself.”—Justin Torres, author of Blackouts, winner of the National Book Award

“In and around these conversations with a range of disparate creators, Stacey D’Erasmo gives us a master class in openness, in generosity, and in courage. Fierce, funny, and philosophical, The Long Run is a necessary companion for anyone who makes things.”—Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse and Art Monsters

“In this brief but impressively substantive exploration of the lives and work of eight artists who have sustained enduring careers, D'Erasmo also interrogates her own path as a novelist, literary critic, and teacher as she searches for the answer to one pressing question: ‘How do we keep doing this--making art?””—Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness

“Stacey D’Erasmo takes her place alongside Olivia Laing with these brilliant portraits of artists who have stayed in over decades and the perspectives that have kept them returning to their work. The surprise bonus is the portrait of D’Erasmo herself and the New York scenes that have buoyed her own long writing practice. An essential book that I’ll always keep at hand.”—Alice Elliott Dark, author of Fellowship Point and In the Gloaming

“What sustains creative people over the long run? What allows certain people to continue to learn and grow, both as artists and as humans Those are the kinds of questions at the heart of Stacey D’Erasmo’s book The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry, which is all about living a creative life.”—Ann Douglas, Psychology Today

Product Details
ISBN: 9781644452929
ISBN-10: 1644452928
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English