By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. Widely available again after twenty-five years, this book is even more necessary today than when it first appeared. An illuminating and transformative book, and completely original in its view of the world, The Gift is cherished by artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers. It is in itself a gift to all who discover the classic wisdom found in its pages.
Twenty-five years ago, the writer Lewis Hyde met with his editor, Jonathan Galassi, who asked him to define the audience for his groundbreaking work on creativity and society, The Gift. After discarding his reflexive response --"all thinking humans" -- as too grandiose, Hyde replied "poets." Then, as now, poets had a difficult enough time creating an audience for their own work, much less serving as the primary audience for someone else's work of nonfiction. It seems, therefore, a minor miracle of publishing that the work not only made it into print but has quietly found its way to classic status, as evidenced by the recently released 25th anniversary edition.