The Tortured Artist

Donna TarttPhoto: Courtesy of Knopf

Novel writing is a grueling task, done in fits and starts whenever the pesky muse decides to strike. To make sense of this, here’s a look at three authors who really took their time between books, and their average output.

Donna Tartt
Last book/date: The Secret History, 1992
Next book: The Little Friend, out November 2002
Years to write: 10
Pages: 608
Number of words written each day: 47

Jeffrey Eugenides
Last book/date: The Virgin Suicides, 1993
Next book: Middlesex, out September 2002
Years to write: 9
Pages: 532
Number of words written each day: 45

Umberto Eco
Last book/date: Island of the Day Before, 1994
Next book: Baudolino, out October 2002
Years to write: 8
Pages: 496
Number of words written each day: 48

The Tortured Artist