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Book Title

The Long Run

A Creative Inquiry
Author 1
Stacey D'Erasmo
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.
D’Erasmo 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, musician Steve Earle, and visual artist Cecilia Vicuña. She saw connections between them and to artists across time: Colette, David Bowie, Ruth Asawa. She found insights, too, 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, output, and external recognition toward freedom, fluidity, resistance, community, resilience, and longevity.

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The author of The Art of Intimacy asks eight legendary artists: What has sustained you in the long run?

About the Author

Stacey  D'Erasmo
Credit: Sarah Shatz
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.
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Upcoming Events

VIRTUAL: Stacey D'Erasmo reading and in conversation about THE LONG RUN with R.O. Kwon, presented by City Lights

City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, CAview map
This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.


  • “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
  • “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
  • “Fierce, funny, and philosophical, The LongRun is a necessary companion for anyone who makes things.—Lauren Elkin
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