Andrea Barrett Quotes.
I think the landscape you grow up in probably does mark you in ways you don’t even understand.
When I’m sniffing around new territory, I often choose, rather randomly, one general book and then follow its bibliography and notes to other, more specialized works and to the primary source material.
Sarah Cornwell has a brilliant eye for the telling detail, and a wonderfully original way of embodying family history. I was captivated by her memorable characters and the perfectly paced revelations of their surprising relationships.
For a sculptor, a painter, a weaver, a potter, the dialogue between one’s materials and what one makes from them is easy to see: discover a new material or a new way to use a familiar one, and new things can be made, sometimes leading to the discovery of more new material, leading to more creation.
Margot Livesey, my dear friend, reads all the drafts of what I write, and I read hers. We have an intense working relationship. I’ve been really lucky to know her. She’s a great reader and teacher as well as an astonishingly good writer.
I’ve never known a writer who didn’t feel ill at ease in the world. We all feel unhoused in some sense. That’s part of why we write. We feel we don’t fit in, that this world is not our world, that though we may move in it, we’re not of it. You don’t need to write a novel if you feel at home in the world.
I’m not adopted. But that longing and that sense of absence … are perhaps other ways of expressing the actualities of my family. Different facts, same emotions.
Adrianne Harun’s dark, mysterious novel is by turns Gothic and grittily realistic, astute and poetic in its evocation of evil everywhere.
Infectious disease exists at this intersection between real science, medicine, public health, social policy, and human conflict. There’s a tendency of people to try and make a group out of those who have the disease. It makes people who don’t have the disease feel safer.
The cure until the late 1940s, when there was an antibiotic discovered for tuberculosis, was basically rest. It was fresh, cold air, lots of food – five meals a day, lots of sleep, not very much talking, and for some people, complete stillness.
I’ve never been to a black-tie thing in my life. I didn’t even go to my prom.
All my life, books have felt alive; some more so than people, or rather, some people. Alive – this has to do with me, I know, and not the books – in a way that some people aren’t. Alive as teachers, alive as minds, alive as imaginative triggers.
I grew up on Cape Cod. We didn’t live right on the water, but I could walk to it and did every day.
I am, as are most writers, just hugely obsessive, and so are many of my closest friends, who tend to be writers or scientists. It’s a trait of human nature that I’m particularly in touch with. So I tend to project it onto my characters.
I think most fiction writers naturally start by writing short stories, but some of us don’t. When I first started writing, I just started writing a novel. It’s a hard way to learn to write. I don’t recommend it to my students, but it just happens that way for some of us.