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" Anyone who has ever tried to plot a detective mystery knows that the hardest thing to come up with is motive. "
" When in doubt, it is better to do the less conservative thing and to err on the side of the more colorful, possibly terrible mistake. That comes from thinking of yourself as a writer. "
" It's important not to censor yourself and not to get upset or demoralized when you write bad stuff. "
" From an early age, my favorite thing to read was novels. For years, when I was writing only nonfiction, still I was reading almost exclusively novels. It's weird to be producing something that you don't consume. It feels really alienating. "
" Most Americans have probably heard the song 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' about a billion times in the supermarket alone. "
" The first modern novel was already a product, even an expression, of negative criticism: 'Don Quixote' contains a quite explicit critique of the chivalric romance and its insufficiency to account for the way real life feels when you get up in the morning in 17th-century Spain. "
" People don't become writers because they love having spontaneous, real-world interactions with living people as bodies with clothes in time. "
" I think it is true that when we're older, we realize the way that people act is... you know, everyone's kind of talking off the cuff, and everyone's, you know, spitballing sometimes. "
" If, for a moment, it seemed that September 11th could be identified with Iraq, the illusion was short-lived. "
" It's possible to watch 'Gone Girl' and feel that you have seen something terribly bleak. But it's also possible to receive it as good news. Any powerful articulation of the need for change is also a testimony to the possibility of change. "
" I have always known my mother as an agnostic, less certain than my father that the universe hadn't been created by some great intelligence. But she would get even more annoyed than my father did when she thought that people were invoking God to do their jobs for them - for example, when she saw a bus with a sticker saying 'Allah Protect Us.' "
" Proust's 'In Search of Lost Time,' especially 'Time Regained,' made me think differently about what the novel is and can do. Then I forgot about it, then reread it and remembered again. "
" My family is very feminist, and they consider that Islam is not a super feminist religion, which I know people can argue about. But that's - anyway that's how I was brought up, so it would be odd for me to suddenly just up and start wearing a headscarf. "
" Lists are based on realism - on the coldly contemplated finitude of resources. "
" It's so embarrassing and painful to be young. "
" Soccer is taken extremely seriously in Turkey. "
" The problems in the Russian novel are quite similar to the problems of Turkish nationalism and Turkish culture, which was something that I grew up thinking didn't affect me very much because my parents didn't really talk about it. "
" If you are in a breakup, you might as well go all the way and spend the summer in Samarkand, with no air-conditioning, learning a language you have no use for. At least it adds some romance to a depressing situation. "
" You base your actions on a projected ending, which you actually don't know. However, when you reach the crucial point, and the pinnacle event doesn't occur, you just need to go on, and something else will happen. "
" Actually, I've taught creative writing in Turkey, at an English language university, where the students were native Turkish speakers, but they were writing their essays in English, and they were very interesting - even the sense of structure, the conventions of writing, the different styles of writing. "
" Many books have changed my life, but only one has the word 'life-changing' in the title: Marie Kondo's 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.' "
" Much as there are things about our own life stories that we can learn only from the systematic study of our dreams, there are things about the human condition that we can learn only from a systematic study of literature. "
" Even when I was very small, my mother treated me like a great novelist. She was like: 'Oh, I'm sitting at the breakfast table with Flaubert,' and would say, if she burned some food or was late arriving, 'Don't put this in your novel!' "
" A lot of fiction doesn't answer a question that any reasonable person would ever ask. "
" I love the novelist's freedom of going into different people's subjectivity and being able to work with them as characters. "
" One of the stories that really impressed me was 'Anna Karenina.' As a novel, that made an impression on me, showing me what the novel can do. "
" I've developed this love of trashy Russian literature. There's a women's detective series that I was obsessed with for a while, written by Aleksandra Marinina, the former chief of police. "
" The first thing I tried to write was a novel, when I took that time off in grad school. Then I didn't finish it. I went back to school, and then I started writing nonfiction kind of by accident. "
" There's this idea that if you want to write, you shouldn't study literature because then you're dissecting what you love, and you should keep your love of literature pure. I think that's kind of silly. "
What You Love
" I actually really wish I had written 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' as an unreliably narrated novel that is also a self-help book. "
" There are very few things that I have any patience for that are not at least a little bit humorous. "