Happy Birthday, Adam Johnson, born 12 July 1967
- Being in an M.F.A. is like living in a sci-fi biosphere on an alien planet, where everyone shares your obscure visionary notions: namely, that literature matters, that English professors know more than other people, that typing, alone, in a library, is what everyone should be doing on a Friday night. Better to tell strangers that speaking Klingon is what turns you on.
- The urge to create a fictional narrative is a mysterious one, and when an idea comes, the writer’s sense of what a story wants to be is only vaguely visible through the penumbra of inspiration.
- The darkness inside your head is something your imagination fills with stories that have nothing to do with the real darkness around you.
- I know it really sounds cheesy, but I did feel a duty to try to tell the stories of people who couldn’t speak for themselves.
- Find a mentor. Writers, in my opinion, seem to be a generous lot. They have a lot to teach and share if you’re willing to seek them out. Be humble, think of writing as a lifelong process of learning, and your audience will come.
Adam Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist and short story writer. He is the author of The Orphan Master’s Son.
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