This year was the first in which I’ve regularly read for pleasure, and I’ve come across so many amazing new books and writers, from Susan Orlean to Danez Smith.
To live in preparation of adversity and finding ways to preserve your core values—this is what it means to learn ‘how to live.’
—Qiu Miaojin, Last Words from Montmartre
The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.
―Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
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
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)