Happy Birthday, Jeffrey Eugenides, born 8 March 1960
- The daily act of writing remains as demanding and maddening as it was before, and the pleasure you get from writing - rare but profound - remains at the true heart of the enterprise. On their best days, writers all over the world are winning Pulitzers, all alone in their studios, with no one watching.
- I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar.
- I like to write every day if I can. I tend to get up late and start at maybe 10 o’clock and work through the day until evening…I sort of have to keep it like a professional job. Like a 9-to-5 job, but seven days a week.
- What I do as a writer, I work with situations, characters, certain situations and characters that appeal to me. And then, I try to imagine them and write the story that seems to flow from them.
- I approach writing female characters the same why I approach writing male characters. I never think I’m writing about women, I think I’m writing about one woman, one person. And I try to imagine what she is like, and endow her with a lot of my own thoughts and history.
- I was directed because I knew I wanted to be a novelist, but I didn’t have a very good job or a way of getting published. I found those years to be among the most difficult of my life.
- I’m hopefully making the reader feel a lot about the characters and then about their own life.
- One of the reasons that art is important to me is sometimes it actually feels more coherent than life. It orders the chaos.
- There are some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things.
- Basically what we have here is a dreamer. Somebody out of touch with reality. When she jumped, she probably thought she’d fly.
- I know that attaching memories to books may be going out of the world, but while it lasts, it’s a strong record of your life.
- I want an ending that’s satisfying. I’m more of a classical writer than a modernist one in that I want the ending to be coherent and feel like an ending. I don’t like when it just seems to putter out. I mean, life is chaotic enough.
- I always work in a room where there’s no Internet to keep from being distracted so easily.
- I was aware that you weren’t supposed to write about suburbia, that it was undignified in some way, the subject matter not momentous enough. And so, for a long time, that kept me from writing about it. But once I began, I realized it was just as interesting as anywhere else.
- The mind self-edits. The mind airbrushes. It’s a different thing to be inside a body than outside. From outside, you can look, inspect, compare. From inside there is no comparison.
Eugenides is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer. He is the author of The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex, and The Marriage Plot.
by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write