The New York Times Style Magazine – “In the careers of certain artists, those who make big, varied bodies of work in which different strands of their experience are subsumed, the business of beginning, and beginning again, never ceases,” Taseer observes, citing examples from among his artistic and literary heroes and friends.

Taseer—a British-American author, journalist and translator raised in New Delhi—begins by describing a self-portrait painted by a friend at Amherst College, identified only as Zack. Though Zack was amazingly talented, Taseer writes, he didn’t stick with art as a career, moving on instead to jobs in different fields. 

“Many with fewer gifts who are yet more steadfast go on to have brilliant careers as artists,” he notes. “There’s an undeniable mystery in why some among us become artists, but there’s a greater mystery to me still in those who survive the vicissitudes of creative life….” The essay considers these vicissitudes and perpetual new beginnings in the lives of such creators as writer Rebecca West, painter Salman Toor and musician Anoushka Shankar, who “regards her fourth album as her first.”