Happy Birthday, Katherine Paterson, born 31 October 1932
- I am constantly writing autobiography, but I have to turn it into fiction in order to give it credibility.
- Words are humanity’s greatest natural resource, but most of us have trouble figuring out how to put them together. Words aren’t cheap. They are very precious. They are like water, which gives life and growth and refreshment, but because it has always been abundant, we treat it cheaply. We waste it; we pollute it, and doctor it. Later we blame the quality of the water because we have misused it.
- I guess real maturity, which most of us never achieve, is when you realise that you’re not the centre of the universe.
- The wonderful thing about books is that they allow us to enter imaginatively into someone else’s life. And when we do that, we learn to sympathise with other people. But the real surprise is that we also learn truths about ourselves, about our own lives that somehow we hadn’t been able to see before.
- I love writing for young adults because they are such a wonderful audience, they are good readers, and they care about the books they read.
- Reading can be a road to freedom or a key to a secret garden, which, if tended, will transform all of life.
- The problem with people who are afraid of imagination, of fantasy, is that their world becomes so narrow that I don’t see how they can imagine beyond what their senses can verify. We know from science that there are entire worlds that our senses can’t verify.
- A story is open-ended. A story invites you into it to make your own meaning.
- I think if a book has the power to move a reader, it also has the power to offend a reader. And you want your books to have power, so you just have to take what comes with that.
- All of us use art and literature as an escape from time to time, but if it’s any good, it has a healing quality - a quality that enlarges our human spirits.
Paterson is an American author best known for children’s novels. She is the winner of numerous awards, including two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. She was the second U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2010–2011.
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