Happy Birthday, Wally Lamb, born 17 October 1950
- Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.
- I thought about how love was always the thing that did that - smashed into you, left you raw. The deeper you loved, the deeper it hurt.
- When I was an MFA student at Vermont College for the Fine Arts, my teacher, Gladys Swan, told me I should never write for a preconceived audience. Rather, I should write for myself and have the faith that the audience that was meant to find my story would find it. She also told me that I was never going to write a completely original story because the world was a very old place, and so all the stories that people need to be told have been in the culture since ancient times. The best I could do, Gladys said, was to put my own modern spin on the archetypal stories that people always need. Study ancient myth, she was telling me; those stories have withstood the test of time because they speak to the human condition. I’ve studied myth ever since and could not have written the novels I have without having done so.
- Fiction writing is a strange business when you think about it. You sit down and weave a network of lies to explore deeper truths.
- Human behaviour in the midst of hardship caught my attention very early on, and my first stories were all pictures, no words.
- I think I write fiction for the opportunity to get beyond the limits of my own life.
- I like to write first-person because I like to become the character I’m writing.
- “Look, don’t just stare at the pages,” I used to tell my students. “Become the characters. Live inside the book.”
- Power, wrongly used, defeats the oppressor as well as the oppressed.
- Life’s absurd. Live authentically. Stop whining.
- I start out with a character whose voice intrigues and worries me. I let that character lead me into the story. Along the way I have to write the person’s back story, discover the persons childhood. It’s sort of a meandering way to write. It certainly has its built in frustrations. The more deeply I care about the character, the more I wonder if the person is going to be okay.
- I don’t really love to write. I’m not waking up in the morning and springing up in bed and saying “Oh yeah, here I go!” It’s more like I’m worrying the characters through the story.
Lamb is an American author, He is best-known as the writer of the novelsShe’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True. He taught Creative Writing at the University of Connecticut until 1999. From 1999 to the present, Lamb has facilitated a writing program for incarcerated women at the York Correctional Institute.
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