Sherwood Anderson (September 13, 1876 – March 8, 1941)
Sherwood Anderson was the master of the short story (check out The Triumph of the Egg and Seeds). But, he is best remembered for Winesburg, Ohio (a collection of inter-connected short stories). Anderson was also instrumental in launching the careers of Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. His only bestseller, Dark Laughter was parodied by Hemingway in Torrents of Spring.
Richard Brautigan (January 30, 1935 – September 14, 1984)
“Last of the beats – first of the hippies.”
Albert Camus (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960)
“A character is never the author who created him. It is quite likely, however, that an author may be all his characters simultaneously.”
Joan Didion (December 5, 1934)
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006)
“Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.”
Maxine Hong Kingston (October 27, 1940)
“In a time of destruction, create something.”
Ted Kooser (April 25, 1939)
“Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? After all, there’s a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world.”
Fran Lebowitz (October 27, 1950)
“Life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep.”
J. Robert Lennon (1970)
“People, in my long experience, want to talk. They may believe they wish to keep secrets, and they may believe that they are capable of doing so. But the truth is that secrets exist to be revealed; and it is usually very easy to find the combination of words that will cause them to emerge.”
David Markson (December 20, 1927 – June 4, 2010)
Markson was the author of several postmodern novels including:
Springer’s Progress. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1977
Wittgenstein’s Mistress. Dalkey Archive, 1988.
Reader’s Block. Dalkey Archive Press, 1996.
This Is Not a Novel. Counterpoint, 2001.
Vanishing Point. Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004.
The Last Novel. Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007.
Todd McEwen (1953)
Yukio Mishima (January 14, 1925 – November 25, 1970)
“What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.”
Haruki Murakami (January 12, 1949)
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Tom Robbins (July 22, 1936)
“It is never too late to have a happy childhood”
Diane Schoemperlen (July 9, 1954)
Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974)
Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007)
“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”
(A Man without a Country)
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892)
Banana Yoshimoto (July 24, 1964)
Check out this interview with Banana Yoshimoto at Melville House