‘That word, “vacation,” makes me sweat.’ Coco Chanel on taking a break
‘You must do it irregardless, or it will eat its way out of you.’ Zora Neale Hurston on writing
‘One has to choose between the Life and the Project.’ Susan Sontag on choosing art
From Vanessa Bell and Charlotte BrontÃ« to Nina Simone and Jane Campion, here are over one hundred and forty female writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, poets, choreographers, and filmmakers on how they create and work.
Barbara Hepworth sculpted outdoors and Janet Frame wore earmuffs as she worked to block out noise. Kate Chopin wrote with her six children ‘swarming around her’ whereas the artist Rosa Bonheur filled her bedroom with the sixty birds that inspired her work. Louisa May Alcott wrote so vigorously – skipping sleep and meals – that she had to learn to write with her left hand to give her cramped right hand a break.
From Isak Dinesen subsisting on oysters, champagne and amphetamines, to Isabel Allende’s insistence that she begins each new book on 8 January, here are the working routines of over 140 brilliant female painters, composers, sculptors, writers, filmmakers and performers.
Filled with details of the large and small choices these women made, Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals Women at Work is a source of fascination and inspiration.
‘An admirably succinct portrait of some distinctly uncommon lives’ – Meryle Secrest