Writing

“The Hidden Past of Sochi,” the New Yorker

The Rise

“It is one of the enduring enigmas of the human experience: many of our most iconic, creative endeavors—from Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to entrepreneurial inventions and works in the arts—are not achievements, but conversions, corrections after failed attempts.

The gift of failure is a riddle. Like the number zero, it will always be both the void and the start of infinite possibility. The Rise—part investigation into a psychological mystery, part an argument about creativity and art, and part a soulful celebration of the determination and courage of the human spirit—makes the case that many of our greatest achievements come from understanding the importance of this mystery.

This exquisite biography of an idea is about the improbable foundations of creative human endeavor. The Rise begins with narratives about figures past and present who range from writers to entrepreneurs; Frederick Douglass, Samuel F. B. Morse, and J.K. Rowling, for example, feature alongside choreographer Paul Taylor, Nobel Prize-winning physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, Arctic explorer Ben Saunders, and psychology professor Angela Duckworth.

The Rise explores the inestimable value of often ignored ideas—the power of surrender for fortitude, the criticality of play for innovation, and the propulsion of the near win on the road to mastery, the importance of grit and creative practice. From one of the most insightful writers of her time, The Rise is true masterwork.”

The Dissolve

in Sarah Lewis and Daniel Belasco eds., The Dissolve: The SITE Santa Fe Eighth International Biennial, exh. cat. (New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2010)