Robert Greene's book Mastery explores the process of becoming a master in any field. Greene examines the lives of great historical figures such as Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as contemporary figures such as Paul Graham and Freddie Roach, distilling the traits and universal ingredients that made them masters.
I would add this book as a companion to the one you have mentioned here: Zora Neale Thurston:
A Life In Letters edited by Carla Kaplan. These letters reveal the frustrations, the dreams, the resilience, the strategic thinking and the brilliant creative mind as well as the very human person she was. She paid a price for her desire to master knowledge, craft, and to preserve art and culture but I'm guessing she would not have had it any other way. You can check out this book here: https://bookshop.org/p/books/zora-neale-hurston-a-life-in-letters-carla-kaplan/8653940?ean=9780385490368
Fantastic read! Have you checked out that book Zora & Langston? There are a lot interesting stories in that book about Zora’s journey and friendship with Langston Hughes!
Good stuff! Thankful for your writing about Hurston. It brings to mind the things I felt when reading "Their Eyes…" for the first time. The vivid imagery of her storytelling, yes, but the fluidity with which seemingly opposite emotions animate the characters - from intense joy and trumph to intense suffering and loss - really stands out as authentic. Her eye, her ear, and her writing are truly indicative of mastery. Because of all this, I can't wait to dig into the anthology that my wife found in the spring.