The words Margot used to describe that element were "willfully strange." It was a strangeness that didn't have roots in the character's lives. Rather, it felt more like the author imposing strangeness upon it.
—Laura van den Berg
But first you have to have a group of students who love to read, and that has to start earlier, in high school. You've got to hit them first when they're kids and then adolescents. You need to hit teens right between the eyes with a good book; they'll never get over it. Someone who gets to college without ever having loved a book is almost a hopeless case.
—Charles Baxter, interviewed by Jacqueline Kolosov
I've never been attracted to any kid of formal writing program, but I learn a lot from reading. My learning hasn't been conscious learning. It's been intuitive. And it's not just from reading good books and stories and essays. It's also about reading bad things and being appalled.
—Joan Wickersham, interviewed by Amy Yelin
"Each moment seems capable of changing everything." This seems to be my consistent worldview. —David Ebenbach
When I'm asked what an aspiring writer should study in college, I advise going easy on creative writing and literature, saving time for history, geography, biology, anthropology. Dig up courses that teach stuff. The more stuff a writer learns, the richer the soup.
If a novel is being described as engaging and satisfying by large quantities of readers, you can bet that there is going to be a formal logic to the style, even if that style breaks certain expectations and boundaries, and to some degree establishes its own set of rules.
—Frederick Reiken, interviewed by Eric Wasserman