The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery

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9780007445424: The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery

An inspiring book about what it means to be human as we struggle for mastery in our various spheres.

It’s one of the enduring enigmas of the human experience: many of our most iconic, creative endeavours – from recent Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to entrepreneurial invention, and classic works in the arts – are not achievements, but conversions, corrections after a failed past attempt.

‘The Rise’ – part investigation into a psychological mystery, part argument about creativity and art, and part soulful celebration of the determination and courage of the human spirit – makes the case that many of the world’s greatest achievements have come from understanding the central importance of this mystery for working and living at the height of our capacity.

Written over four years, this exquisite biography of an idea is about the improbable foundations of creative human endeavours. ‘The Rise’ begins with narratives about figures that range from choreographers, painters, inventors, explorers, and entrepreneurs; Frederick Douglass, Samuel F. B. Morse, Diane Arbus, and J.K. Rowling, for example, feature alongside choreographer Paul Taylor, Nobel Prize-winning physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, and Arctic explorer Ben Saunders.

Each chapter focuses on 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. While it is not a how-to book, it contains important lessons for pedagogy and parenting, for innovation and discovery, and for self-direction and creativity.

‘The Rise’ is an inspiring book about what it means to be human as we struggle for mastery in our various spheres.

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Product Description:

An inspiring book about what it means to be human as we struggle for mastery in our various spheres.

From celebrated art historian, curator, and teacher Sarah Lewis, a fascinating examination of how our most iconic creative endeavours—from innovation to the arts—are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts.

The gift of failure is a riddle: 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 the world’s greatest achievements have come from understanding the central importance of failure.

Written over the course of four years, this exquisite biography of an idea is about the improbable foundations of a creative human endeavour. Each chapter focuses on the inestimable value of often ignored ideas—the power of surrender, how play is essential for innovation, the “near win” can help propel you on the road to mastery, the importance of grit and creative practice. The Rise shares narratives about figures past and present that range from choreographers, writers, painters, inventors, and entrepreneurs; Frederick Douglass, Samuel F.B. Morse, Diane Arbus, and J.K. Rowling, for example, feature alongside choreographer Paul Taylor, Nobel Prize–winning physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, and Arctic explorer Ben Saunders.

Review:

‘Lewis's voice is so lyrical and engaging that her book, "The Rise", can be read in one sitting’ ‘The New York Times’

‘Sarah Lewis has assembled a rich trove of reflections not just on creativity but on the too-often ignored role that failure and surrender play in almost any ambitious undertaking. That counter-intuitive point of attack makes ‘’The Rise’’ a welcome departure from standard accounts of artistry and innovation’ Lewis Hyde, author of ‘The Gift’

‘The Rise provides a map across the chasms of self-doubt that separate even the brightest, most ambitious people from success. Sarah Lewis’s keen and generous insights will convince you that dead ends can have a dazzling afterlife, that failure can provide the impetus and the freedom to find mastery, innovation, even genius’ Andrew Solomon, author of ‘Far from the Tree’

‘Like Malcolm Gladwell, Sarah Lewis brilliantly takes complex ideas and makes them easy to follow, making it possible for us to see the world in a brand-new way’ Edwidge Danticat, author of ‘Create Dangerously’

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