Happy Birthday, Rebecca Makkai, born 20 April 1978
- I no longer believe I can save people. I’ve tried, and I’ve failed, and while I’m sure there are people out there in the world with that particular gift, I’m not one of them…But books, on the other hand: I do still believe that books can save you.
- Despite its challenges, the novel offers an opportunity to live in one story for years of your imaginative life. There’s a tremendous richness to that.
- I believed that books might save him because I knew they had so far, and because I knew the people books had saved.
- I might be the villain of this story.
- Like a good American, I wanted to sue somebody. But like a good librarian, I just sat at my desk and waited.
- I grew up writing. It was very natural in my household. My father was a poet, and his mother had been a novelist back in Hungary. I don’t think I really thought about it being my career until high school, which is still pretty early, but it was a while there of just assuming this was something everyone did all day long.
- The loneliest thing in the world is lying awake beside someone asleep
- Writing a short story is like painting a picture on the head of a pin. And just getting everything to fit sometimes seems impossible. Writing a novel, though, has its own challenges of scope. And I think of that as painting a mural, where the challenge is that if you are close enough to work on it, you’re too close to see the whole thing.
- When you talk to an author – to any artist, really – you learn something about how they do what they do.
Rebecca Makkai is an American novelist and short-story writer. She is the author of The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccamakkai
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