• THE WRITING LIFE

The Novelist's Lexicon

At an international literary conference, 70 authors, including Jonathon Lethem, Colum McCann, A. S. Byatt, and Annie Proulx, were asked to choose one word that might offer a key to their work or their creative process. Their "passwords," and the musings they inspire, make fascinating reading.

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July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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