What Makes a Good Writer? (originally written by Zadie Smith)

Illustration by Garrincha

The dream of a perfect novel drives writers crazy

There is a dream that haunts writers: the dream of the perfect novel. It is a dream that causes only chaos and misery. The dream of this perfect novel is really the dream of a perfect revelation of the self. In America, where the self is so neatly wedded to the social, their dream of the perfect novel is…