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" Because school was so terrible was probably why I was driven to write. "
" We need to stay together, to spread the truth like religion. It's a lonely, scary road, and we've got to walk it together. "
" I love people, but I don't do so well in a system. We're poor, and we lead a very different kind of life. We depend on other people so much. "
" I am a person who can't teach writing or make a living in any public way, as I get confused when interrupted or overstimulated. In a classroom or crowded room, I all but blank out. So my only income is from novels. "
" Whenever I write, I write what I find to be the way people are. I never use any symbolism at all, but if you write as true to life as you possibly can, people will see symbolism. They'll all see different symbolism, but they're apt to because you can see it in life. "
" There's no writer's block; there's only distraction. "
" It doesn't matter that millions read as long as you share it with somebody. So I don't really think about readers or editors. You especially should never think of editors - especially never think about reviewers. "
" People who work in factories or in the woods or maybe a dairy farm - for years, I've been fascinated with people like that. No pretensions. They just live their lives. I found them beautiful. They were all I seemed to be interested in writing about. "
" We don't want the government to have anything we don't have, because government isn't 'We The People' anymore. "
" I have lived poverty. I didn't choose it. No one would choose humiliation, pain, and rage. "
" Grave silence is far more powerful than the same old voices yapping away. "
" What poor people go through, it's amazing they don't do more violent things! If they'd just give you a little dignity, it might help you stand it better. They suffer no heat, no electricity, while you're working, but then you've got to face all the insults, too. "
" Sadly I don't work well under restrictions. I need to forget the world and its rules and laws in order to enter the dreamlike flow of the fictional world. So I may be in some bad trouble. "
" When I write, I just let my characters go, the way I let life go. "
" I never wanted to be a writer. I still don't. "
" You go through your life feeling like an outsider, and you respond to society in a different way when you feel like an outsider. "
" Today, somewhere in America, more foreclosures. More auctions. Another farmer plots his own death. And another. There is an art to making your death by combine look like an accident. "
" When I'm not writing, I do a lot of research reading on the shape of civilization. Fiction can be a lot of different things... but I feel like it's my job to write about the way things are. "
" I love a big book, but it's what most people like which makes commerce sing. "
" Today's world is very cruel. "
" I like starting projects in January. That's the best time to start something. It's so inward. "
" People say, 'Well, why don't they get another job, why don't they pick themselves up by their bootstraps?' Well, the people that say that probably have the kind of jobs where they don't work that hard, so maybe they could have another job. "
" With upper- and middle-class lawns, there's more hidden, whereas with working-class or poor lawns, there's more out to see. It just sits right out there. Very honest. Like the people. "
" Every time I think I know what's right and wrong, I end up being wrong. All I want to do is explore. I want to see what people would do. I say, 'What would this person do in this situation?' and I write it down. I'm not writing manifestos of my political views. "
" Sometimes a manuscript is like bread dough. You have to abuse it. "