Literary Birthday - 26 October - Stacy Schiff

Happy Birthday, Stacy Schiff, born 26 October 1961

10 Quotes

  1. A woman can never be too rich or too thin, but until very, very recently, she could be too powerful, for which - if she wasn’t smart enough to camouflage herself - she generally paid the price.
  2. Women enjoyed rights in Egypt they would not again enjoy for more than 2,000 years. They owned ships, ran vineyards, filed lawsuits, practiced medicine. Their husbands supported them after divorce. Their power was unprecedented.
  3. It has always been preferable to attribute a woman’s success to her beauty rather to her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her sex life.
  4. Recently a study proved that working from a larger, less cluttered computer screen increases concentration. I could have told them that. And yes, I write first drafts with a mechanical pencil and a yellow legal pad. 
  5. I don’t think there is ever objective biography. Our vision of our subject is always shaped by who we are. So I do, of course, think the biographer’s view is always something to keep in mind.
  6. As always, an educated woman was a dangerous woman.
  7. For a few thousand years, women had no history. Marriage was our calling, and meekness our virtue. Over the last century, in stuttering succession, we have gained a voice, a vote, a room, a playing field of our own. Decorously or defiantly, we now approach what surely qualifies as the final frontier.
  8. Non-fiction writers are the pack horses of literature. We’re meant to carry the story. If we can make it up and down the mountain by a reliable if not scenic route, we have delivered. Technique is optional.
  9. I’m a sucker for lost worlds. I was nostalgic even as a child. I was happiest in my hometown library in Adams, Mass., where nothing seemed to change.
  10. I can’t write a line without music - it provides just the right amount of distraction to keep me focused. 

Schiff is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American nonfiction author and guest columnist for The New York Times. She is the author of Cleopatra: A Life.

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 by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Her signature courses are Writers WriteThe Plain Language Programme, and The Social Brand. Follow her on PinterestFacebookGoogle+Tumblr and Twitter.  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

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Literary Birthday - 25 October - John Berryman


Happy Birthday, John Berryman, born 25 October 1914, died 7 January 1972

Five Quotes

  1. We must travel in the direction of our fear.
  2. I didn’t want to be like Yeats; I wanted to be Yeats.
  3. You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise you’re merely imitating yourself, going nowhere, because that’s always easiest.
  4. We have reason to be afraid. This is a terrible place.
  5. Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.

Berryman was an American poet, professor and scholar. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century. His best-known work is The Dream Songs for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. 

Source for Image

 by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Her signature courses are Writers WriteThe Plain Language Programme, and The Social Brand. Follow her on PinterestFacebookGoogle+Tumblr and Twitter.  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

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Literary Birthday - 24 October - Gabrielle Zevin

Happy Birthday, Gabrielle Zevin, born 24 October 1977

15 Quotes

  1. There are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that’s not how it works. A human life is a beautiful mess.
  2. Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time.
  3. People choose to read, and it takes effort. It’s not one of those hobbies that asks nothing of the person who is doing it. It’s more than a hobby.
  4. Before I liked to write, I liked to type. I remember visiting my grandmother Adele in Ponce Inlet, Florida, when I was three years old, and she had an IBM electric typewriter.
  5. I don’t believe in writer’s block.
  6. I wish that the adults who are ‘in power’ cared more about what their children read. Books are incredibly powerful when we are young - the books I read as a child have stayed with me my entire life - and yet, the people who write about books, for the most part, completely ignore children’s literature.
  7. People, you’ll find, aren’t usually all good or bad. Sometimes they’re just a little bit good and a whole lot bad. And sometimes they’re mostly good with a dash of bad. And most of us, well, we fall in the middle somewhere.
  8. I like to believe, as a writer, that anybody who isn’t a reader yet has just not found the right book.
  9. We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on.
  10. On some level, I think we want our reading self to represent our best self.
  11. I think you can do a lot, like describing people with their physical characteristics, things like that, but to me, I’ve always found it to be a much more informative question to ask somebody what they read.
  12. It’s difficult to ever go back to the same places or people. You turn away, even for a moment, and when you turn back around, everything’s changed.
  13. They should tell you when you’re born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.
  14. I like watching what people buy in bookstores. I see people buy books that I strongly suspect they will never read, and as an author, I must tell you, I don’t mind this one bit. We buy books aspirationally.
  15. I believe good things happen every day. I believe good things happen even when bad things happen. And I believe on a happy day like today, we can still feel a little sad. And that’s life, isn’t it?

Zevin is an American author and screenwriter. Her first novel Elsewhere was nominated for a Quill award, won the Borders Original Voices Award, made the Carnegie long list. It ha s also been translated into over 20 languages.

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 by Amanda Patterson. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Her signature courses are Writers WriteThe Plain Language Programme, and The Social Brand. Follow her on PinterestFacebookGoogle+Tumblr and Twitter.  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate