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

Illustration by Garrincha

Note to readers: a novel is a two-way street

A novel is a two-way street, in which the labour required on either side is, in the end, equal. Reading, done properly, is every bit as tough as writing — I really believe that. As for those people who align reading with the essentially passive experience of watching television, they only wish to debase reading and…