“I’d always felt frustrated by books that made things simpler than I’d found them to be. Even writing English papers as a college student, you’re supposed to sound like you know what you’re talking about. But so often I didn’t–I didn’t even know what I meant. But I knew that. So I began to explore language that expressed the groping way I thought, mixing uncertainty and mistakes with bursts of insight. I found that this was the way to just sound human.”
“The question is, how do we honor the sacrifice without glorifying war itself? It’s a major issue for all of us, and one I felt keenly as Cartographer grew into the novel it became.”
by Sonya Chung
Listening to the tributes, one recognized something about the life of an artist who cares more about the work than anything: readership, recognition, money, fame, these things may come and they may not. If they do come they may arrive modestly or abundantly, usually unexpectedly, often “late.”
by Evelyn Somers
I do dispense with traditional chronological narrative. It enlivens the book and keeps me alert. Yes, I am conscious of being experimental: I wish I’d done more.
It was a different book when I started: a two-strand narrative weaving a modern story with a 19th-century one. Eventually, the 1830s characters took over, and their story became the present book.
No doubt some work being produced today will not be recognized and well-regarded until 50 years from now.
“I read somewhere that most people’s favorite teacher is a high school English teacher. That doesn’t mean that English teachers are better than other teachers. It means that rather than talk about amoebas or equations, we talk about feelings – Holden Caulfield’s, Hamlet’s, Hedda Gabler’s – and teenagers are full of feelings, so we’re right up their alley. Teaching literature is like shooting fish in a barrel and damned near solipsistic; every great book is, after all, about me.”