Alexander Chee Quotes

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  • I knew it was a risk but what I was after was a novel that is about the feeling that comes with a coincidence in real life - that you feel as if something divine has intervened and has arrived with a message.

    Real   Feelings   Risk  
    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • The ideal editor will hold you to the best of yourself in the piece.

    Editors   Pieces   Ideals  
    Source: therumpus.net
  • I've been told it's hard to write about singing. I didn't realize that going into it. I might not have tried if I knew!

    Writing   Singing   Might  
    Source: therumpus.net
  • As writer pay declined and teacher pay also, we all started hanging out online. You could say online social networks cheapen our friendships or you could say we were cheapened by a plutocratic power grab and this is all we can afford.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • The myth works to make the very real things people don't want to look at visible for them.

    Real   People   Looks  
    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • Every now and then, you find a book that feels like it was keyed to your DNA.

    Book   Dna   Now And Then  
  • Everyone would tell me they couldn't identify with sexual abuse. No one says they can't identify with the tales of the Greek gods and goddesses because they don't live on Mt. Olympus.

    Greek   Abuse   Olympus  
    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • With my family background - my parents were both activists - writing about culture and politics came naturally.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • Each source that I read, I would look through the bibliography and the footnotes, and use that as a map for the next thing I would read.

    Looks   Use   Maps  
    Source: therumpus.net
  • PhD, MFA, self-taught - the only things you must have to become a writer are the stamina to continue and a wily, cagey heart in the face of extremity, failure, and success.

    Heart   Self   Faces  
    "'MFA vs NYC': Both, Probably" by Andrew Martin, www.newyorker.com. March 28, 2014.
  • As I get ready to buy a new computer, I'm stunned at all the many micro drafts, of different chapters and scenes and whatnot, that litter the hard drive.

    Source: therumpus.net
  • Throughout my reading life, I've enjoyed many memorable meals-if only fictionally. The oysters at dinner near the beginning of Anna Karenina, the dinner Nana throws for her overflowing guests in Zola's Nana, the walk through Les Halles for breakfast in Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, and nearly every meal in Monique Truong's The Book of Salt.

  • The idea of a talent that was bigger than an artist's ability to choose to use it, that would dictate the artist's life more than the artist could dictate, was interesting to me.

    Source: therumpus.net
  • It's my experience that people don't think of fiction writing as being as intellectually serious as other kinds of writing in academia and so without a career as a critic or essayist you can be treated as something of a spiritual medium - a fraud - for "just" writing fiction.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • My interest in women's voices started when I was in the boys' choir and we were singing in opera choruses. That was my first close-up experience with the female soprano voice. I was amazed at how it could be within the same scale but so different in quality.

    Boys   Voice   Singing  
    Source: therumpus.net
  • I was trying to make a novel about something no one wanted to read about into something they couldn't put down or look away from.

    Trying   Looks   Novel  
    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • Writers aren't born, they're made - from practice, reading, and a lot of caffeine.

  • Most written work is a conversation between the editor and the writer, that the writer essentially fulfills in public, and the editor provides the stage for that to happen as well as the prompts.

    Source: therumpus.net
  • I have lived for a long time inside a series of coincidences that most people would find implausible in a novel.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • I had a naiveté that I would remember the things that I had written already, but I was getting lost in the forest of my own ideas and having to find my way out.

    Source: therumpus.net
  • One of my big inspirations was Céleste Mogador. She was a courtesan who wrote her memoirs in order to pay off her debts, which is a hilarious gesture.

    Source: therumpus.net
  • Whenever people say a coincidence in a novel is implausible, I think, Do I have a story for you.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • Characters to me are like sonnets, they have limits that you obey which allow a force to enter in, an invention that makes the novel possible. Change the limits and the force leaves. The novel becomes impossible.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • The way some were entrapped into lives of prostitution, the way that something like marriage could rob them of their rights.

    Source: therumpus.net
  • I realized that my identity as a novelist was private. Only I knew how much of a novelist I was!

    Source: therumpus.net
  • I grew up treating a life as a writer as a career in letters, one devoted to many kinds of writing. And so it seemed normal to study both fiction writing and the literary essay as an undergrad.

    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
  • The secret to being a rider in the hippodrome wasn't that you must be agile, or that you must be good with horses...It was that you must hide inside your costume a little of a killer's heart.

    Horse   Heart   Secret  
    "Go Forth (Vol. 41)". Interview with Kristen Evans, logger.believermag.com. February 26, 2016.
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