I want to understand you,
I study your obscure language.
Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (born June 6, 1799) was part of the country’s literati from age 15. By 26, he had begun publishing the serialization of Eugene Onegin, his novel in verse. By 37, he was dead, killed in one of the 29 duels that he fought in his short life.
In secret we met
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
George Gordon Byron
May 17, 1824: Before dying in Greece, Lord Byron entrusted a friend with his memoirs. Other friends, worried that the memoirs would be scandalous, fought to destroy the manuscript—190 years ago today, they succeeded, tearing it up and burning it in the office of Byron’s publisher.
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.
I consider my work optimistic in that the people, during the period I’m writing about them, are experiencing intense emotion. It is my belief that this is all there is to it.
Don Carpenter (born March 16, 1931) chased popular success as a novelist, but largely made his living as a screenwriter. He was good friends with Anne Lamott, who dedicated her best seller, Bird by Bird, to Carpenter.
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.
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.