Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Strout, born 6 January 1956
- I do reread, kind of obsessively, partly for the surprise of how the same book reads at a different point in life, and partly to have the sense of returning to an old friend.
- It is not “good” or “bad” that interests me as a writer, but the murkiness of human experience and the consistent imperfections of our lives.
- When you get writer’s block it’s because you’re doing something false. There’s a billion ways to be false. You can be writing a story one way when it really wants to be a different way. You can be trying to protect yourself — which is even worse. Or you can be showing off or whatever.
- I’m writing for my ideal reader, for somebody who’s willing to take the time, who’s willing to get lost in a new world, who’s willing to do their part. But then I have to do my part and give them a sound and a voice that they believe in enough to keep going.
- I do write by hand. I just think – I don’t know, it’s a physical thing for me. It’s a bodily thing. It literally has to earn its way through my hand.
- I cut and cut and cut. I write tons of stuff that just never makes it. I’ve written hundreds of pages sometimes just to get one page.
- If you’re always thinking of the other person first, you don’t have to bother with what you’re feeling. Or thinking.
- In case you haven’t noticed, people get hard-hearted against the people they hurt. Because they can’t stand it. Literally. To think we did that to someone. I did that. So we think of all the reasons why it’s okay we did whatever we did.
- I don’t think there was a particular book that made me want to write. They all did. I always wanted to write.
- People know exactly who loves them, and how much.
- I’m a writer and so I spend a great deal of my time alone. And every decision I ultimately make on that page, I make alone. And then the work goes out into the world…. What I do (I have come to realise this) is an act of faith. And whatever you all will do will also be acts of faith.
- The key to contentment was to never ask why; she had learned that long ago.
- The facts didn’t matter. Their stories mattered, and each of their stories belonged to each of them alone.
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