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All Quotes by author - Kevin Barry
" At one point I would read nothing that was not by the great American Jews - Saul Bellow, Philip Roth - which had a disastrous effect of making me think I needed to write the next great Jewish American novel. As a ginger-haired child in the West of Ireland, that didn't work out very well, as you can imagine. "
" 'City of Bohane' has been optioned for film, and I've finished a first draft of the script. "
" Don DeLillo's 'White Noise,' which I read when I was 19. It showed me that a book can be funny as hell and deadly serious. "
" Frazzled and delirious, as I've just finished a new book of stories. I feel like Moses staggering down the mountainside with the tablets of stone. "
" Get up, groan, write a bit, moan, eat breakfast, write some more, cycle my bike through the Sligo hills, make up country songs as I pedal along, sing them, have lunch, have a nap, groan, moan, write a small bit more, cook dinner, feed wifey, open a bottle, or several, slump, sleep. "
" I don't quite operate within the realist mode. I kind of push the stories out towards the cusp of believability - that's the area of interest for me. "
" I go into my workroom seven mornings a week. There will only be one or two mornings a week where it seems to be going well, but to earn those days you have to go through slow, slodgy days where your mind feels like porridge. "
" I go to Spain a lot, in winter, for a blast of sunlight to banish the blues brought on by the Irish greys and drizzle. I love the cities of the Spanish interior. "
" I greatly enjoyed working as a freelance journalist, because it gets you out of the house, and it gets you talking to people, but it wasn't satisfying all of my cravings, and I knew that I needed to work with the other side of my brain - the darker, murkier side! "
" I have always felt a special affinity with V. S. Pritchett. He worked from the ear, primarily, as I do, and he was an all-rounder, writing short stories, novels, memoir, travelogue, critical biography. He lived to be almost 100, and he never stopped, and his work is unified by a great generosity of spirit. "
" I have been as influenced by music and films as by books. "
" I like to be happy when I'm writing. If not, then how will the reader manage? "
" In my very early days as a journalist, as a cub reporter on a local newspaper, I used to cover the district courthouse in Limerick city - all human life passed through that establishment, and my time there remains a source of inspiration. "
" In the early nineties, I was a cub reporter on a city newspaper in Limerick, and assigned to the courthouse there. One day, an old detective sergeant came and whispered to me in the press pit. He pointed out a young offender, a teenager who was up for stealing a car or something relatively minor, and said, 'See this kid? He'll kill.' "
" I remember, as a child, a particular groan that my father would sound when he crawled from the bed in the morning. I hear the same groan now, precisely, every morning, when I emerge from my own lair. It's more than an expression of physical weariness - it's an aching of the soul. Even the groans get passed down. "
" Irish writing is so strong that it can feel like the country has all been covered, but in fact, there are so many gaps. The small west of Ireland cities and the working classes there have almost never appeared in Irish literature, simply because those communities were never in the way of producing books. "
" I think journalism is useful training for a writer in the way it takes the preciousness out of the pragmatic side of the craft. "
" I think the language as spoken in Limerick and Cork has not really been written; 'City of Bohane' is a combination of the two. Bohane is a little kingdom. When I began writing it, I realised that it was in the future and that it was a place that didn't care about anything that happened outside it. "
" It was quite risky to open the book with one of my quieter stories; I'm kind of trying, I think, to lure readers into a false sense of security and then assault them with a couple really loud, really strange stories. "
" I've had lots of people saying very nice things about the work. But I genuinely feel in the course of a writing career you're going to have people say very nice things and some not-so-nice things, and if at all possible you should try to ignore both. "
" I wanted to write about Jews in Montana, so I went there by plane and bus, only to discover that there are no Jews in Montana. It didn't deter me. "
" I was a cub reporter on a local newspaper in Limerick city, and I used to cover the district court meetings. All of life passed through the Limerick courthouse. Misery, malevolence, the dark side of humanity... I tell ya, it made 'Angela's Ashes' look like 'The Wonderful World of Disney.' "
" I was freelancing for years in Cork and around. I also wrote freelance pieces for 'The Irish Times.' "
" I was writing fiction in my 20s but in a pretty undisciplined way - late at night, maybe, after I'd peeled myself from the walls of a nightclub and crawled home along the gutters. But I slowly became more serious and more devout in my work, and I fell seriously in love with the short story form. "
" Libraries are where we learn that we can live our lives through books. "
" One of the things I've been most excited by is U.S. television drama. For my money, it's some of the greatest narrative art of our time. Each series is like a 19th-century Russian novel: you need to do a lot of work in the first few episodes, just as you do in the first 50-60 pages of those books. "
" The fundamental human truth underpinning 'Ox Mountain Death Song' is that men so very often turn into their fathers. The way that everything gets passed down. "
" There's no mistaking the fact that some of the best longform fiction out there now is in American television. 'The Wire' and 'Deadwood' and 'The Sopranos.' "
" The short story is a very natural mode of storytelling; most stories can be told quickly. I always think of them as like a tightrope walk - every sentence is a step along the rope, and you can so easily misplace your step and break your neck. "
" Very first thing in the morning, I spew some rough genius directly on to the laptop. Then I have coffee and rewrite for three hours. "
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