What did some 200 renowned authors do with their boundless creativity when they weren't writing? The paintings, drawings, and sculptures in The Writer's Brush (Mid-List) include architectural doodles in the margins of Dostoyevsky's notebook and Patricia Highsmith's menacing self-portrait, Rudyard Kipling's illustration for one of his own fables and Arthur Rimbaud's sketches of men in the street, Nabokov's colored-pencil rendering of butterflies and Mark Strand's poetic abstractions. There's a wide range of technical skill—August Strindberg and Victor Hugo were accomplished, visionary artists, while Proust's cartoonish figures have the crudeness of a child's first efforts. But these images, accompanied by brief biographies, open windows through which we can glimpse something new and often unexpected about the sensibilities—and the souls—of our favorite writers.
— Francine Prose
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, December 11, 2013