"I am not in the business of making people feel bad. I'm in the business of telling people how it might possibly turn out, that in this situation love conquers all."
Interviews with writers.
"When we talk about a novel provoking emotions, we tend to think of the emotions that have to do with our own amatory life. I think that books can be emotionally exciting in many different ways."
"In Paris we had — not just we had, but one has — a genuinely beautiful existence. That is to say, all of the little details of life — or nearly all — are pleasing."
"There's a big emphasis in this country to look at your roots and have an identity. Which is good but not the way I feel. I just take it for granted."
"So that's the fine balance of a fiction writer...to be able to give your characters enough freedom to surprise you and yet still maintain some kind of artistic control. You are constantly balancing between those two opposing forces."
"I feel it's an incredibly high standard that you have to hold the short story to because there is no room for that really common, perfectly understandable difficulty."
"Every semester I get writers who are much more gifted than I am -- and more gifted than others -- and you can see they have this natural ability. I've seen over the years that doesn't make a whit of difference. You need something else."
"If you go to a small press fair, it's like world of publishing for the visually blind. They don't really want to look at anything."