Tag Archives: Robert Birnbaum

Barry Gifford

Barry Gifford

“I always identified more with the visual artists than with writers. In fact, I am not friends with very many writers.”

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Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley

“Some people would say that if you can’t detach yourself from the world we see around us, then it would pretty much, pretty soon bury you under.”

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Michael Lewis on Moneyball

Michael Lewis

“It’s knuckle-headed stuff. The sports world is an echo chamber. All it takes is one quote from a general manager and a thousand sports columns bloom.”

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Iris Chang

Iris Chang

“Racism is always there underneath, but usually it is exploited in these times of economic crisis, and it’s hard to find out when one slides into another. But it usually does whenever the economic crisis reaches its peak.”

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Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer

“…with writing I realized not so much that I was born to be a writer but that writing was much more flexible activity than I had previously thought. That its constraints were my constraints. It was limited by my limitations. And that was exciting.”

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Amanda Hesser

Amanda Hesser

“In the past decade, a lot of lifestyle subjects from home design to food have been put up on this pedestal, and there is a lot of social pressure that goes along with that now.”

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Robert Stone

Robert Stone

“And sometimes the epigraph becomes too heavy for the story and sometimes it seems too overwhelmingly portentous for the story. If it approaches sidewise, it’s more effective.”

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Percival Everett

Percival Everett

“People who like my work like my work for all the reasons that I would want them to like it. And the people who don’t like it, dislike it for all the reasons I would want them to dislike it.”

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Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt

“One of the great parts of being an American writer is that so much is going on here. It is exciting to the rest of the world, too. When I am in Europe people are quite excited about American fiction, and there is a sense that American writers are doing all kinds of different things—which they are.”

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ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer

“I think people tend to racialize, and in some contexts that is necessary. In the context of just being human and falling in love and all of the things that human beings do, I don’t necessarily think it should erupt. It’s a horrible thing when it does because it means that the racists have won.”

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Alston Chase

Alston Chase

“As I looked at Kaczynski and his thinking, what I saw was this pattern that seemed strikingly similar of that of terrorists—virtually every form from the KKK to bin Laden. And one has this very historical sense, the sense that they see themselves as players in history.”

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George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos

“Most American fiction is about people who win. And if it’s about race, it’s about how black people change white people.”

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Tom Paine

Tom Paine

“I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I wish it hadn’t been, but it was struggle to decide to do it. It never really was a question in some sense. I just wish I knew it wasn’t a question.”

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Peter Singer

Peter Singer

“I find Americans are not good at self-criticism as a society, as a nation. They have real difficulty in seeing how the rest of the world sees them in taking a kind of independent stance. And there’s a sort of suffocating patriotic assumption that if you criticize America that you are some how being unpatriotic.”

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David Liss

David Liss

“I was a victim of the American cultural myth that genius requires no work. That if you have to work at something then you are not really gifted at it.”

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