Anne Tyler

Literary Birthday – 25 October – Anne Tyler


Happy Birthday, Anne Tyler, born 25 October 1941

Twelve Brilliant Quotes On Writing From Anne Tyler

  1. I can never tell ahead of time which book will give me trouble – some baulk every step of the way, others seem to write themselves – but certainly the mechanics of writing, finding the time and the psychic space, are easier now that my children are grown.
  2. But what I hope for from a book – either one that I write or one that I read – is transparency. I want the story to shine through. I don’t want to think of the writer.
  3. When I’m working on something, I proceed as if no one else will ever read it.
  4. When I read, I’m purely a reader.
  5. The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.
  6. Not until the final draft do I force myself to remember that I’m going to have to think about how it will affect other people.
  7. It’s true that it’s a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary characters can offer once you get to know them.
  8. If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.
  9. In real life I avoid all parties altogether, but on paper I can mingle with the best of them.
  10. I was standing in the schoolyard waiting for a child when another mother came up to me. Have you found work yet? she asked. Or are you still just writing?
  11. For me, writing something down was the only road out.
  12. I’ll write maybe one long paragraph describing the events, then a page or two breaking the events into chapters, and then reams of pages delving into my characters. After that, I’m ready to begin.

Anne Tyler is an American author. She has written 19 novels, including Breathing Lessons, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Other books include The Accidental Tourist and The Beginner’s Goodbye. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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by Amanda Patterson

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