“It was always the son of power, the daughter of power, who was most eager to abuse it.”
—Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
I realized that I could only be who I am: Black and a woman and a writer, and that I could only do one thing: strive to write the best damn story I can. The rest is out of my control.
“There’s no method. There’s no formula. If you really proceed a sentence at a time, if you pay attention to the sentence you just wrote and look to it for the clue for what to do to the next sentence, you can inch your way along to what may be a story. This wouldn’t have occurred to me starting out, for example, when I thought you wrote one sentence, then just looked out to the world trying to snag the next one. That’s not how it works. You look back at what you gave yourself to work with. Sharon Olds said something beautiful about sometimes thinking of her poems as instructions for how to put the world back together if it were destroyed.” —Amy Hempel on Sharon Olds, who is seventy-one today.
Spotted some familiar beasts in the wild at the Booksmith in San Francisco.