The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.
Not long after midnight on April 14, 1965, the murderers depicted in Truman Capote’s true-crime book, In Cold Blood, were executed. The writer was in attendance.
Everybody talks about wanting to change things and help and fix, but ultimately all you can do is fix yourself. And that’s a lot. Because if you can fix yourself, it has a ripple effect.
Happy 70th birthday, Rob Reiner! The director of When Harry Met Sally… and The Princess Bride got his start as a writer on The Smothers Brothers.
I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.
Before Khaled Hosseini (born March 4, 1965) became a novelist, he was a doctor. Even after his first book, The Kite Runner, was published, he continued to practice for another year and a half before deciding to write full time.
What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?
Ralph Ellison (born March 1, 1914) took about six years to write his first novel, Invisible Man, which won a National Book Award. His second, Juneteenth, had a harder road. First, 300 pages of the manuscript burned in a house fire, then he wrote 2,000 pages that were pared down and published posthumously.
All your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate…I choose love.
When legendary musician Johnny Cash (born February 26, 1932) joined the Air Force, he wasn’t allowed to use his birth name, J.R., so he named himself John. Based in Germany during the Korean War, Cash was a Morse Code interpreter and became the first American to know of Stalin’s death.
Is it fair to have given us the memory of what was and the desire of what could be when we must suffer what is?
Happy 67th birthday, Neil Jordan! His original dream was to write fiction, but Jordan successful films soon overshadowed his novels—My favorite, Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair (1999), he’s written and directed The Crying Game, Michael Collins, and Breakfast on Pluto.
Over the river and through the wood
To grandfather’s house we go
Lydia Maria Francis Child
American activist Lydia Maria Child (born February 11, 1802) may have been the first prominent abolitionist to advocate immediate emancipation without compensation to slave owners—she also wrote anti-slavery fiction. However, Child is best known for her children’s poem, Over the River and Through the Wood.
Become major, Paul. Live like a hero. That’s what the classics teach us. Be a main character. Otherwise what is life for?
Happy 77th birthday, J.M. Coetzee! The reclusive South African writer did not show up to the awards ceremony for his two Booker Prizes, but he did make an appearance when he won the Nobel Prize in 2003.