Reading

“Reading is bread.” – Cynthia Ozick

Happiness

“Writing saves me from the despair of living.” – Anita Brookner

Character

“I start with one character, then another character comes along,” she says. “Each one has his or her own life, whether they’re on a stoop in Queens or in prison in upstate New York or in a school in Manhattan. I start writing those scenes, then put them together, which gets me moving toward something…. Read more

Rejection

“Persist. If you stop, then you’re removing yourself from the conversation.

Earning a Living

Margaret Atwood was a coffee-shop worker. Octavia Butler labored as a dishwasher, a telemarketer, and a potato-chip inspector, among other endeavors. Agatha Christie was part of a Voluntary Aid Detachment working at a military hospital in Devon during World War I; she was also an apothecary’s assistant. Harper Lee toiled as a ticket agent for… Read more

Children’s Books

“What is a story? It is a form of authority. If I tell you a story, you are almost certain to listen. A story is easier to follow, and therefore to remember, than a chain of disconnected facts, because it has causality, one event leads to another. It is like swimming with the current —… Read more

Why Write

“The agony that goes into writing is borne precisely because the writer longs for acceptance.” – Ralph Ellison “The ascent of creative-writing, particularly in an age dominated by the impatient pursuit of visual stimulation, might seem harder to explain. But my sense is that people remain desperate for the emotional communion provided by literature.” –… Read more

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