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" Alice Munro is an atomic writer blasting doors into narrative time. "
" I studied English at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and I did an M.F.A. in Poetry at Columbia. "
" I'm not at all interested in simply reporting what's here right now, or cranking out an entertainment device that's going to touch the widest number of people. I'm interested in digging and excavating as deep as I can go into those small eternal moments and how they expand out, or close in, on the lives of my characters. "
" Typically, I spend a lot of time - mostly in the morning - kind of drifting, reading, walking down along the river, looking at photographs, or even driving around. Then, if I'm lucky, I get to work in the early afternoon, one way or another. "
" I find the middle classes kind of boring. The middle class has kind of been beaten like a dead horse by fictional writers. It's old news, and literature is supposed to bring new news, and for me, I feel I have to go as far out as I can to try and tell the kind of stories I want to tell. "
" I love novels, and I read them more than anything, but stories cut in sharp and hard and are able to reveal things in a different way: they're highly charged, a slightly newer form, and inherently more contemporary. "
" In the days following 9/11, when we were reeling and disoriented, there was a kind of solace to be found in old recordings, and even pseudo-folk singers like James Taylor seemed to be safeguarding something, drawing back bygone days. "
" Vietnam and Iraq are part of the same national trauma and delusion; we folded the war up when Reagan became president and unpacked it with Bush. "
" In 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac,' Mr. Yorke's lyrics were often unfathomable, moaned and mumbled and forced beneath the surface of the music. In 'Hail to the Thief,' most but not all of the words can be decoded after a few listens. "
" I love the nooks and crannies of the American landscape; the back roads and back alleys, the places that are still untouched by the corporate gloss, the veneer of sameness that seems to be spreading across the country. "
" I knew for years I wanted to write a novel that addressed the personal trauma of my older sister, who suffered - and still suffers - from mental illness. For a long time I imagined - and I know it's absurd - that she was an indirect casualty of the Vietnam War. "
" A few days after 9/11, I put the old cassette of 'Born in the U.S.A.,' twisted and worn, on the car deck as I drove past West Point, across the Bear Mountain Bridge, along the Hudson River. It was the perfect moment to hear it. "
" There's a huge distance between who I am as a regular person and what takes place in my fiction. "
" From George Martin's classically inspired production of the Beatles to Peter Gabriel's early solo masterpieces, to Stereolab's beautiful loops and blips, U.K.-based bands have often found a way to squeeze warmth and compassion from the stone-cold - especially now that the tubes are gone - machinery of the recording studio. "
" I like landscape, I guess. It's kind of a game to see how you can describe it. "
" Iggy Pop is a pure Michigan product - gritty, smart, but not afraid of looking stupid or foolish. His father was once a high school English teacher. I love Iggy as a physical entity, sinewy, twisty - even in old age - an embodiment of rock and roll history. "
" History is delusional. Not just an illusion, it's a delusion. America is this giant country, so it has these big delusions, and history is where delusions play out. "
" Wars never simply end, not for those in combat and not for the culture, and one way or another, they shape-shift from generation to generation. "
" A kiss is often about the future and the past. A lost dream, about the discretion of the idealism. "
" I don't think you could write fiction or create art unless you are sort of a positive person. "
" I'm not sure if a writer should talk about themes. Themes arrive out of the deeper structure and concerns, but to me, the main thing is getting it down right, writing about specific characters in specific predicaments, and finding a way to be true to the story itself, not only in the first burst of draft but in the revision, too. "
" We believe in cures; we're a quick-fix country, and we drive forward, and we eat up what we have extremely fast in terms of natural resources and also ideas and intellectual property. We're kind of wilfully stupid a lot of the time, anti-intellectual. "
" Everyone in my family still lives in Kalamazoo. "
" I'm a relatively optimistic kind of guy. "
" We're all building our narratives in our heads. "
" Americans are pragmatic; we want quick, clean, simple solutions to vast problems. The paradox is that we're a deeply confessional culture, but we're not often contemplative. "
" The more you know about Bob Dylan, the less you know. A truly enigmatic artist, Mr. Dylan's work and life offer vaporous handholds, explanations, and instructions. Attempt to grasp them, and they will only dissipate and re-form into another contexture or idea. "
" Every interaction with another person involves a dance of expectation, even when you're just passing someone in the street. Inside those moments - however brief they may be - there is a kind of anticipatory silence. "
" It's better to know your story than not to know. "
" The wonderful thing about being an American writer is you've got this vastness to draw from. "
" Folk songs, whatever else they might be, are mainly craft. "