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Craft Book Spotlight: The Hidden Machinery

With a little help from some of history's finest authors, best-selling novelist Margot Livesey offers 10 meditations on the art of writing in this acclaimed essay collection.

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Hidden Machinery by Margot LiveseyIf you’re craving a literary approach to deepening your craft, hunt down a copy of New York Times best-selling author Margot Livesey’s The Hidden Machinery.

In this essay collection, the works of some of the greatest writers in literature become her love language as she delves deep into craft and technique.

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“Read everything that is good for the good of your soul,” says Livesey. “Then learn to read as a writer, to search out that hidden machinery, which it is the business of art to conceal and the business of the apprentice to comprehend.”

The author of eight novels, including Mercury and The Flight of Gemma Hardy, and a recipient of numerous fellowships, including from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, Livesey has taught writers at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Emerson, and Carnegie Mellon, among other institutions.

“Would-be writers will find this both useful and inspiring, while general readers can simply enjoy Livesey’s keen insights and engaging prose,” writes Kirkus of Lively’s collection in a starred review.


“If good books allow us to choose the intellectual company we keep, there’s no better company – for a budding writer or an avid reader – than Livesey in these essays,” echoes the Christian Science Monitor.

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