THE STARLESS SEA: How Erin Morgenstern’s “Book About Books” Became a “Book About Stories”

Our new Igloo Book Buzz selection is Erin Morgenstern’s THE STARLESS SEA, published by Doubleday on November 5. The New York Times bestselling author of THE NIGHT CIRCUS tells a timeless love story set in a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Erin Morgenstern, photo credit Allan Amato

Ms. Morgenstern shares how she approached the writing of THE STARLESS SEA: “When I started out, I’d had that debut that no one has where it’s this huge thing, and then people were waiting for this book. So I needed to get back in my head and think about what I wanted to do. I worked on a couple of different things that I ended up abandoning, and I kept going back to the idea that I wanted to write a book about books. I wanted to write a book about writing and storytelling and that core idea of why I was writing the book and doing what I was doing in a meta sort of way. And then, as I started writing a book about books, it expanded into much more of a book about stories and storytelling and different formats of storytelling. I wrote it over the course of five years, so it changed a lot. I meant to make it a book about books, and it turned into a book about stories.”

Jennifer Jackson, VP & Senior Editor, Knopf Doubleday, says, “This has been my first time working with Erin Morgenstern and it’s hard to even describe how astonishing the process has been. She is so phenomenally imaginative. THE STARLESS SEA is a genre-bending dreamscape, steeped in mythology and lore with delights of imagination on every page. Zachary tastes an edible story—a mint that unfolds like a dream in his mouth. There are ice-sculptures that speak, bees the size of dogs, murderous ladies in fur coats, spies in coffee shops, key-collectors, men with owl heads, and more cats than a Murakami novel. It’s been a complete joy to publish this novel.”

Posted: November 7, 2019