I have taken as much as six years to prepare a book for writing. There is such a delirium of effort in the production of a book; it’s like childbirth. And, like childbirth, one forgets the pains immediately so that when you come to write another one you dare to take it up again. Some precious anesthesia sees you through.
—John Steinbeck (via writingquotes)
I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.
Sylvia Plath. 1932-1963
“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”
"The truth is more complicated than I thought." - Anthony Doerr #PowellsEvents
Image: South African novelist Nadine Gordimer poses during the 2006 Rome literature festival. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)
Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author famed for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, died Sunday, her family said in a statement. She was 90.
Gordimer was considered a modern literary genius, an important chronicler of the injustices of racial segregation. Three of her books were banned during apartheid.
"They showed how people were living here," Gordimer said in an NPR interview last year. “They showed what influences were shaping our lives. And they showed the many different reactions to it among different people here.”
More on Gordimer’s legacy here.
Our condolences go out to Nadine’s family and friends.
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
—Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (via larmoyante)