The dream of becoming a writer takes hold of Isabelle Rothman during her senior year of college. Feeling brave, she begins a tutorial with a once highly praised novelist, Daniel Jablonski, known on campus as eccentric and disengaged. Despite his reputation, Isabelle loves his novels and hopes he can teach her the secrets of his luminous prose. But their first meeting is a disaster. He never read the chapters she submitted and will not apologize for being unprepared.