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" You might not remember what you had for dinner last night, but you remember everything about one particular summer of your youth. It's like that. "
" No one's memory is infallible, of course - quite the opposite. "
" Working at the 'Review', if anything, the impression you got was, 'I'll never be good enough. I'll never work hard enough. I'll never be devoted enough.' These people are staying up all night over their sentences! "
" I first met Susan Sontag in spring 1976 when she was recovering from cancer surgery and needed someone to help type her correspondence. I had been recommended by the editors of 'The New York Review of Books,' where I'd worked as an editorial assistant. "
" There's a lot of material from my life in my books, but they're not really autobiographical, in the sense that they're not about my life. So, in 'A Feather on the Breath of God' I write about my parents, I write about this Russian immigrant, I write about the world of dance, but it isn't an autobiography; so much is left out. "
" Read as much as possible, especially the work of writers who most deeply affect you. Make those writers your family. Never wait for inspiration to strike before getting to work; be disciplined and form the habit of writing every day. "
" You don't sit there at twenty-five, unpublished, inexperienced, and respond to Susan Sontag's editorial suggestions like a little snot, rejecting every one of them. But it had a lot to do with the fact that I didn't admire Susan's own fiction. "
" I'm not someone who has a list of great books I would read if I only had the time. If I want to read a particular so-called classic, I go ahead and read it. If I had more time, I would certainly read more, but I'd read the way I always do - that is, I'd read whatever happened to interest me, not necessarily classics. "
" As an undergraduate, I took two writing workshops taught by Elizabeth Hardwick. She was certainly a major influence, though more as a writer I greatly admired than as a teacher. As for other writers, I think it's safe to say that my work has been and continues to be influenced to one degree or another by every writer whose work I love and admire. "
" When I was a kid and wanted to grow up to be a writer, I assumed I would be writing about animals and children because that's what I cared about and read about. But I never did. "
" I try to write every day, preferably first thing in the morning. Of course, there are days when something happens to interfere with this ideal schedule. Then I try to find time later in the day. I usually work at home, but sometimes, for a change I'll go to a library or a cafe. And I like to read poetry before I sit down to write. "
" You write about experiences partly to understand what they mean, partly not to lose them to time. To oblivion. But there's always the danger of the opposite happening. Losing the memory of the experience itself to the memory of writing about it. "
" You write a thing down because you're hoping to get a hold on it. "
" It's true that if you cry hard enough for long enough, you can end up with blurred vision. "