Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!— Anne Tyler
The most relaxing Anne Tyler quotes you will be delighted to read
But what I hope for from a book - either one that I write or one that I read - is transparency. I want the story to shine through. I don't want to think of the writer.
I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them - without a thought about publication - and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside.
It seems to me that since I've had children, I've grown richer and deeper.
They may have slowed down my writing for a while, but when I did write, I had more of a self to speak from.
I don't want to say I hear voices; well, actually I do hear voices, but I don't think it's supernatural. I think it's just that when characters are given enough texture and backbone, then lo and behold, they stand on their own.
It is not how much you love someone, but who you are when you are with him.
It is very difficult to live among people you love and hold back from offering them advice.
The Amateur Marriage grew out of the reflection that of all the opportunities to show differences in character, surely an unhappy marriage must be the richest.
Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.
I've always thought a hotel ought to offer optional small animals.
I mean a cat to sleep on your bed at night, or a dog of some kind to act pleased when you come in. You ever notice how a hotel room feels so lifeless?
The hardest novel to write was Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.
People always call it luck when you've acted more sensibly than they have.
While armchair travelers dream of going places, traveling armchairs dream of staying put.
I can never tell ahead of time which book will give me trouble - some balk every step of the way, others seem to write themselves - but certainly the mechanics of writing, finding the time and the psychic space, are easier now that my children are grown.
I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just how much you love someone.
Maybe what matters is who you are when you're with them.
It seems to me that good novels celebrate the mystery in ordinary life, and summing it all up in psychological terms strips the mystery away
I was standing in the schoolyard waiting for a child when another mother came up to me. Have you found work yet? she asked. Or are you still just writing?
Just because we're related doesn't mean we are any good at understanding each other.
It's true that writing is a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary characters can offer once you get to know them.
I just want to be told a story, and I want to believe I'm living that story, and I don't give a thought to influences or method or any other writerly concerns
...he thought of dying as a kind of adventure, something new that he hadn't yet experienced. Like an unusual vacation trip.
People imagine that missing a loved one works kind of like missing cigarettes,' he said. 'The first day is really hard but the next day is less hard and so forth, easier and easier the longer you go on. But instead it's like missing water. Every day, you notice the person's absence more.
I remember leaving the hospital - thinking, 'Wait, are they going to let me just walk off with him? I don't know beans about babies! I don't have a license to do this.' We're just amateurs.
I suspect that marriage is like parenthood: every last one of us is an amateur at it.
One sad thing about this world is that the acts that take the most out of you are usually the ones that people will never know about. (from 'Celestial Navigation')
I've always enjoyed studying the small clues that indicate a particular class level.
My stories are never quite good enough
But if you never did anything you couldn't undo you'd end up doing nothing at all.
I do write long, long character notes - family background, history, details of appearance - much more than will ever appear in the novel. I think this is what lifts a book from that early calculated, artificial stage.
For me, writing something down was the only road out.
...it's closeness that does you in. Never get too close to people, son.
Point of view is not something I consciously decide.
Almost always, when I come up with a plot I find that the point of view has automatically arrived with it, part and parcel of the story.
For me, writing something down was the only road out.
..I hated childhood, and spent it sitting behind a book waiting for adulthood to arrive. When I ran out of books I made up my own. At night, when I couldn't sleep, I made up stories in the dark.
(About parenting:) ... all that tedium, broken up by little spurts of high drama.
I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get
None of my own experiences ever finds its way into my work.
However, the stages of my life - motherhood, middle age, etc. - often influence my subject matter.
When I read, I'm purely a reader
Everything was leveled, there were no extremes of joy or sorrow any more but only habit, routine, ancient family names and rites and customs, slow careful old people moving cautiously around furniture that had sat in the same positions for fifty years.
I never think about the actual process of writing.
I suppose I have a superstition about examining it too closely.
My family can always tell when I'm well into a novel because the meals get very crummy.
The one ironclad rule is that I have to try.
I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning
When you have children, you're obligated to live.
Now peculiar scraps of knowledge were stuck to him like lint from all his jobs.
Some people are aware of everything that is going on everywhere at every moment in their lives.
I forget a book as soon as I finish writing it, which is not always a good thing
View your burden as a gift. It's the theme that has been given you to work with. Accept that and lean into it.
I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place.
He was wondering if there was some cryptic, cultish mark on his door that told all the crazy people he'd have trouble saying no.
Farmers are patient men. They got to be. Got to see those seeds come up week by week, fraction by fraction, and sweat it out for some days not knowing yet is it weeds or vegetables.
I consciously try to end my novels at a point where I won't have to wonder about my characters ever again.