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Janna Malamud Smith

Janna Malamud Smith is a writer and a psychotherapist. She has lectured widely and has published nationally and internationally in newspapers, magazines, and journals. Her first two books, Private Matters (Addison Wesley, 1997) and A Potent Spell (Houghton Mifflin, 2003), were both chosen as “Notable Books” by The New York Times Sunday Book Review. Her third, My Father Is a Book (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006), was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Her fourth book, An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Master, will be released in September 2012 (Counterpoint). Her essay in this issue of VQR is adapted from An Absorbing Errand.


Ruthlessness and Art-Making

Summer 2012 | Essays

For some time, the subject of ruthlessness and art-making has lingered in the back of my mind. Like so many nascent ideas, this one has felt warm to the touch but without explicit features. What do I mean by “ruthlessness”? Do great artists posse [...]