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" As a reader since very early, I have found myself drawn to rants. "
" For those of us whose thoughts digress; for whom unexpected juxtapositions are exhilarating rather than tiresome; who aim, if always inadequately, to convey life's experience in some semblance of its complexity - for such writers, the semi-colon is invaluable. "
" I love my books, and with all their dog-ears and under-linings they are irreplaceable, but I sometimes wish they'd just vanish. "
" A painting lets us know how somebody literally saw things. A piece of music is another language that transmits a whole wealth of emotion and wordless experience. But writing is special in the way at allows us to temporarily enter another person's world, to step outside the boundaries of our own time and space. "
" We're all living in some state of illusion, even if modestly. "
" You can't make a character do something they wouldn't do. "
" The people who don't read - who are they? How do they make sense of things? "
" We think that we know people from this constellation of points: 'I know that story. I know that girl. I've heard that story a thousand times.' But actually, you never know that story. "
" Obstruction can be caused by so many factors - perfectionism, distraction, faltering confidence, external demands and pressures. At some point, of course, you've got to push through it all if you're to write, and if you don't, or can't, you're sunk. "
" We live in a culture that wants to put a redemptive face on everything, so anger doesn't sit well with any of us. But I think women's anger sits less well than anything else. "
" There is that time right around 30 when you think, your twenties have gone by, and now you really are a grown up, and you do have to figure out what you're going to do. "
" Rushing around can be a pointless diversion from actually living your life. "
" I grew up on British fiction, and I write perhaps more directly out of that tradition. "
" Henry James and Edith Wharton are huge for me because they gave me a way to understand America while still respecting the European backgrounds of my relatives. "
" If I look at my make-up, Canada is a huge part of what I am. "
" Yes, writing is essential to me. It's my way of living in the world. "
" There are people who live under the delusion that simply because they will it to be so, it will be so. "
" I'll always find the hardest path. Needless to say, not always a good idea. "
" In a globalised world, so many of us move around so much. You lose things, but you also gain things - or hope to gain them. "
" When you move around a lot, there are little bits of you from everywhere. I mean, my father's French, and I speak French, and there's a kind of struggle in me that says, 'I'd like to be French.' But I've never been fully part of that culture, that role. "
" If you took my reading and writing out of my head, I don't know who I would be. "
" As any of us approaches middle age, we inevitably come up against our limitations: the realization that certain dearly-held fantasies may not be realized; that circumstances have thwarted us; that even with intention and will we may not be able to set our ship back on the course we'd planned. "
" I sometimes feel like a British writer more so than I feel like an American writer. But I think that has to do with my subjective understanding of what it means to be either of those things. "
" For me, the ages between 9 and 12 were great because it was before you wore any masks, and you had some autonomy in the world. You had some freedom, and you felt you had unlimited ambition. It's when you thought, 'I'm going to write plays. I'm going to be president. I'm going to do this; I'm going to do that.' And then it all falls apart. "
" I still believe on some level that at the end, somebody will say, 'You get an A-minus for your life.' And it's not true. It's not true. "
" If people like something you've done - or don't like it - this shouldn't determine what you write or how you write it. Those are two separate things entirely: your work and the world's response to it. "
" Women's anger is very scary to people, and to no one more than to other women, who think, 'My goodness, if I let the lid off, where would we be?' "
" The feeling I had several times in youth, when lying in a field staring up at the night sky, that I might fall into the infinite void - for people like me, this idea mostly provokes anxiety. "
" If you're rich, you can leave a library, a building, or a hospital wing. But writing leaves behind a visceral sense of what it was like to be alive on the planet in a particular time. Writing tells us what it meant for someone to be human. "
" In making up stories, as in reading stories, I could create a contained world in which an experience is shared in its entirety. "
" Especially since having children, a lot of the time if you ask me, 'Have you read that book?' the answer would be 'not personally.' "