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

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


Author: Sarah Lewis | Paperback

From celebrated art historian, curator, and teacher Sarah Lewis, a fascinating examination of how our most iconic creative endeavors--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 endeavor. 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.

With valuable lessons for pedagogy and parenting, for innovation and discovery, and for self-direction and creativity, The Rise "gives the old chestnut 'If at first you don't succeed...' a jolt of adrenaline" ( Elle).


**Kristen's Staff Pick**

"This book just happened to come to me when I needed it most and with a message that I hope to constantly relearn. I actually listened to this on audiobook first because it felt like Dr. Lewis was coaching me along, reminding me to orient my mindset back to mastery, not success. Lewis, herself an art critic, art historian, and professor at Harvard, writes passionately about her experience with the power of aesthetic force, representational justice, and our misunderstanding of the word failure by drawing insight from the lives and lessons of creative thinkers. If you're feeling stuck creatively, I wonder if it's because you also need the gentle reminder that a mindset towards mastery invites us to reframe our narrative of failed attempts."