It is no great art to say something briefly when, like Tacitus, one has something to say; when one has nothing to say, however, and none the less writes a whole book and makes truth into a liar – that I call an achievement.
I have a stack of those plastic card hotel room keys that I picked up on this latest book tour. It’s about a yard tall. Ah yes, a stack of lonely nights.
Mourning Ruby is not a flat landscape: it is more like a box with pictures painted on every face. And each face is also a door which opens, I hope, to take the reader deep into the book.
This is perhaps the most profound meaning of the book of Job, the best example of wisdom.
Many poets write books. They’ll tell you: Well, I’ve got my next book, but there are two poems I need to write, one about x, one about y. This is a wonder to me.
Cotton Mather’s publications in his own lifetime amounted to more than 400 titles, and his magnum opus, on which he labored most of his life, remains unpublished: a commentary on every verse of every book of the Bible. Anyone who leaves that kind of record behind issues an irresistible invitation to historians.
The thought of’ the inferiority of the Negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies.
One was a book I read by Mahatma Gandhi. In it was a passage where he said that religion, the pursuing of the inner journey, should not be separated from the pursuing of the outer and social journey, because we are not isolated beings.
First you wonder if they’re separate stories, but no, they’re not, they’re contingent stories and they form a pattern. And you begin with some of the island as the place to which the heroine of the book returns.
The mood in which my book was conceived and executed, was in fact to some extent a passing one.