Books by Nina Schuyler

In This Ravishing World

Winner of the W.S. Porter Prize and Winner of The Prism Prize for Climate Literature

In This Ravishing World is a sweeping, impassioned short story collection, ringing out with joy, despair, and hope for the natural world.

Nine connected stories unfold, bringing together an unforgettable cast of dreamers, escapists, activists, and artists, creating a kaleidoscopic view of the climate crisis. An older woman who has spent her entire life fighting for the planet sinks into despair. A young boy is determined to bring the natural world to his bleak urban reality. A scientist working to solve the plastic problem grapples with whether to have a child. A ballet dancer tries to inhabit the consciousness of a rat. It’s a full-throated chorus, with Nature joining in, marveling at the exquisite beauty of our world, and pleading, raging, and ultimately urging everyone toward activism and resistance.  

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A pioneer of artificial intelligence, Virginia Samson rebuilds the voice of her dead lover, Haru, allotting him qualities he once had as her math tutor in Japan. With his voracious appetite for learning and knowledge, Virginia gives him access to the Internet, where he consumes Mandarin, physics, Shakespeare, newspapers, and more. When she’s approached by a Chinese-based company, she licenses Haru’s underlying algorithms so they can build Best Friend, which is an AI voice companion for the aging population. For some unknown reason, Haru begins spying on ordinary Chinese citizens, handing over incriminating information to the Chinese government. Alarmed, Virginia frantically rebuilds him, and in the process, discovers a terrible secret that shakes her love for him, causing her to face the dilemma of whether to keep him or kill him.

Afterword explores what it means to be human and is a moving testament to the human desire for belonging, companionship, and love.

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The Translator

In silken prose and with subtle suspense, Nina Schuyler brings us a mesmerizing novel of language and translation, memory loss and heartbreak, and the search for answers in a foreign country.

When renowned translator Hanne Schubert falls down a flight of stairs, she suffers from an unusual but real condition — the loss of her native language. Speaking only Japanese, a language learned later in life, she leaves for Japan. There, to Hanne’s shock, the Japanese novelist whose work she recently translated confronts her publicly for sabotaging his work.

Reeling, Hanne seeks out the inspiration for the author’s novel — a tortured, chimerical actor, once a master in the art of Noh theater. Through their passionate, volatile relationship, Hanne is forced to reexamine how she has lived her life, including her estranged relationship with her daughter. In elegant and understated prose, Nina Schuyler offers a deeply moving and mesmerizing story about language, love, and the transcendence of family.

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The Painting

In late 19th century Japan, a young woman escapes the confines of her arranged marriage by painting memories of her lover on mulberry paper. She secretly wraps the painting around her husband’s ceramic pot, which is bound for Europe. In France, a disenchanted young man works as a clerk at an import shop. When he opens the box from Japan, he discovers the brilliant watercolor of two lovers locked in an embrace under a plum tree. He steals the paintings and hides it in his room. With each viewing, he sees something different, and gradually is transformed by the painting.

Set near the capital of Tokyo during the Meiji period and in Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, The Painting is a richly imagined story of four people whose lives are delicately and intricately entwined. The novel explores the questions: what is the purpose of beauty? What is the purpose of art? Of longing? Can beauty help transcend suffering?

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How to Write Stunning Sentences

You’ve got a great story, but do you have great sentences?

Stylish sentences have their own powerful energy that mesmerizes and even rearranges a reader’s world. Think of this book as a private lesson with Nina Schuyler—award-winning author and professor of creative writing at the University of San Francisco—featuring guest appearances by the masters, including James Baldwin, Grace Paley, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and Toni Morrison. They’ve arrived to show you the mechanics of their magic.

Featuring 25 essays and over 100 writing prompts, How to Write Stunning Sentences is the best way to practice writing sentences with style.

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Stunning Sentences: A Creative Writing Journal with 80 Prompts from Beloved Authors to Improve Your Style

Sentences are alive. Done well, they can help us see the world anew. To create such sentences you need fresh, varied rhythms and imagery. In this creative writing journal, Nina Schuyler, award-winning author of the bestseller How to Write Stunning Sentences, presents 80 new prompts that show the breathtaking stretch of language. With stunning sentences from beloved writers like Toni Morrison, Lauren Groff, Virginia Woolf, and Jesmyn Ward, coupled with Nina’s precise analysis, you will be excited to create your own striking sentences. This journal will renew your writing skills and allow you to see through any sentence to the bones of style.

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