Literary Birthday – 13 October – Emily Gould


Happy Birthday, Emily Gould, born 13 October 1981

10 Quotes

  1. Existential angst was far, far above her pay grade.
  2. She wondered if it counted as being good if you did the good thing for purely selfish reasons. Probably not, but who cared. What was important was what you did, not how you felt.
  3. No one ever addresses the possibility that a writer might not like her book.
  4. I can look back and recognise the things I’ve done and said that were wrong: unethical, gratuitously hurtful, golden-rule-breaking, et cetera. Sometimes the wrongness was even clear at the time, though not as clear as it is now. But I did these things because I felt the pull of a trajectory, a sense of experience piling up the way it does as you turn the pages of a novel. I would be lying if I said I was a different person now. I am the same person. I would do it all again.
  5. If a woman writes about herself, she’s a narcissist. If a man does the same, he’s describing the human condition. But people seem to evaluate your work based on how much they relate to it, so it’s like, well, who’s the narcissist?
  6. I think that people are generally really terrible at being ambassadors of their own work.
  7. Nothing trains you better to write fiction than being really good at writing about your own interiority.
  8. Women especially are trained to protect other people’s feelings, and a lot of that involves not telling the truth even about the fundamental details of your own experiences and your own life.
  9. We would talk about the future while holding it forcibly at bay with our inactivity.
  10. To some extent the shorter the writing assignment is, the harder it is to accomplish, and a blurb is 200 words max.

Emily Gould is an American author, novelist, and blogger. She has written several short stories and novels and is the co-owner of the independent e-bookstore Emily Books. She is the author of Friendship: A Novel.

Source for image: @EmilyGould

by Amanda Patterson