This post is part of our Margaret Atwood Riot Reading Day, a celebration of one of our favorite authors on the occasion of the publication of her new novel, MaddAddam. Check out the full line-up here.
“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”
“I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.”
“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.”
“There’s an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine — “Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.””
“Potential has a shelf life.”
“If he wants to be an asshole, it’s a free country. Millions before him have made the same life choice.”
“The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose.”
“For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.”
“I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it.”
“It’s a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography — but if you write your biography, it’s equally assumed you’re lying your head off.”
“You can think clearly only with your clothes on.”
“All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel. …Think about it. There’s escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist.”
“If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.”
“I never have [suffered writer’s block], although I’ve had books that didn’t work out. I had to stop writing them. I just abandoned them. It was depressing, but it wasn’t the end of the world. When it really isn’t working, and you’ve been bashing yourself against the wall, it’s kind of a relief. I mean, sometimes you bash yourself against the wall and you get through it. But sometimes the wall is just a wall. There’s nothing to be done but go somewhere else.”
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