This is a fascinating book, based on interviews with 91 highly creative people. Much of it consists of extensive quotations from them, and it gives a great deal of insight into how they live and how they work. The essential element is passionate love of what they do, combined with endless patience. Interestingly and contrary to popular legend, they generally live happily and have a good family life. The suffering genius seems to be a rarity.
I find it hard to go along with the idea that a person can only be called creative when his or her contribution to culture is recognized by the experts in the field. Thus Mendel was not creative in his lifetime but only when his work was discovered by the biological community. Raphael is creative when his work is fashionable and not when he is out of fashion. In fact Cziksentmihaly does not stick closely to his own doctrine, and the last chapter, about how to be creative, says nothing about recognition.
I was amused to see the claim that Naguib Mahfouz had been under house-arrest for several years, which is pure fantasy; on the contrary, the State always treated him as a national treasure. It would be interesting to hear from informed people if some of the other testimonies have been embroidered.