While I’ve been lucky enough to read many excellent memoirs this year, seven easily stand out as my top favorites from 2018.
In memory, freedom is obvious. In the present moment it’s harder to appreciate, or recognize as a form of responsibility.
—Zadie Smith, Feel Free: Essays
Literature is dialogue; responsiveness . . . A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
–Susan Sontag, from speech after being awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2003
Write as well as you can, with as much heart as you can, whenever you can.
—Roxane Gay, from a column in the New York Times
You write from what you know, but you write into what you don’t know.
—Grace Paley, from a 1986 Interview with Kay Bonetti
You have to create your own space which has a lot of silence in it and a lot of books.
—Susan Sontag, Interview with Rolling Stone (1979)
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives . . . A schedule defends from chaos and whim.
—Annie Dillard, The Writing Life