Long after the bomb falls and you and your good deeds are gone, cockroaches will still be here, prowling the streets like armored cars.

— Tama Janowitz

The most eye-opening Tama Janowitz quotes to get the best of your day

On bad days, I think I'd like to be a plastic surgeon who goes to Third World countries and operates on children in villages with airlifts, and then I think, 'Yeah, right, I'm going to go back to undergraduate school and take all the biology I missed and then go to medical school.' No. No.

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With publicity comes humiliation.

9

I feel like I sort of missed the eighties.

At the time, we didn’t know we were having fun, which is probably the way it always is.

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I think it's true about people now being closer to their parents, since the '60s, really. The parents are no longer from a different planet, the 1950s ideas of American family. We could be friends with our parents. After the '60s, it wasn't like a person smoking pot was what the parents would be appalled at.

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The novel is never really in the first draft. The novel really happens in the revisions.

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Whether I'm critically well received, whether or not I sell books - of course it becomes progressively harder to get them published - nevertheless, it's what I do, every day.

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I think the sixties must have been quite a lot of fun.

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The older a woman gets, the more invisible you become.

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Whether you're acting or you're writing, your skin is just basically ripped off and you're putting yourself out there. At least the acting part comes with a bit more social interaction. And you're a bit less isolated because you are working with the director and the crew, and there's a general camaraderie. Writing, you're totally isolated. You're just trying to get the words on paper.

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If you want to be a writer, all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil, and I had a manual typewriter. It doesn't cost money to write. It costs money to make art. So I would just write. I would hand out stories in the classes in high school. And the teacher would say, "Whatever you do, don't become a writer."

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Fame is really great in a lot of ways, you know? People are a lot nicer to you.

Like, the more famous you are, the more free presents you get. And invitations to really amazing things.

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I don't want my novel to be like Madame Bovary, finely crafted with the life edited out of it. I want my novel to be like a friend telling me a story -- so we go off on thoughts; that's the way it is.

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About Tama Janowitz

Quotes 27 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

Crimes, sins, nightmares, hunks of hair: it was surprising how many of them has something to dispose of. The more I charged, the easier it was for them to breathe freely once more.

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I think in a lot of ways, writing, when you're really in there, is like being an actress because you're in somebody else's head.

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Most of my life is just spent lying in bed.

I mean, it's enough pressure to write the words. Do I need to use the additional energy exerted by sitting up?

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Every book I write, the media just keeps punching me in the face.

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As a writer, I don't think it's my responsibility to make a point.

I just write and hope there's someone who'll like it.

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In my writing I wanted to be liked for writing really unlikeable stuff.

There were books that people, particularly women, hated so much. They said, "I threw it against the wall!" Which, in my opinion, was a compliment. Because it's very hard to get somebody to throw something.

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Never Mind Nirvana is the first novel I’ve read that makes music as important as food, clothing romance — a fresh twist millions will be able to identify with – and the music of Lindquist’s language is a perfect match for the subject. I think he’s the writer to watch in the new millennium.

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Brownstein's is a fresh and jaunty voice, with a jazz snap all his own.

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I felt my whole life was a facsimile of a life.

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I was like a social worker for lepers.

My clients had a chunk of their body they wanted to give away; for a price I was there to receive it.

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Why would I want to read something about somebody that's just a really nice, decent person who overcomes terrible trials? That's not how life is to me.

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I'm writing what I want to write. But it's almost an act of rebellion on my part. Because as a person, I've always wanted to be very likeable, and I think that's a horrible thing, particularly for women. You're always like, "Oh, I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings. I hope they like me!" And that's just so stupid.

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If you want to write about a person who isn't nice, people say, "This is a bad book. It's about somebody I couldn't stand." But that's not the point. You don't have to like a character to like a book. Most of the time, people would misjudge and say, "I didn't like the book." No, you didn't like the character. That doesn't make it any less interesting of a book. In fact, to me, it makes it more interesting.

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I think powerful women don't care whether or not they're liked.

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