Can’t you read? You brung English to this country and now you want it explained to you, your own language, have you no shame?
If you’ve been acculturated to believe that you have certain obligations - familial, social, human - if multitasking has been your forte and that’s what’s been praised and rewarded, where do you find the single-mindedness, the selfishness to do something like art?
We have such a tendency toward the segregation of cultural products… It can be counterproductive both to the literary enterprise and to people’s reading, because it can set up barriers. Readers may think, ‘Oh, I’m a straight man from Atlanta and I’m white, so I won’t enjoy that book because it’s by a gay black woman in Brooklyn.’
In the children’s books there are inanimate objects that come to life, speaking statues, rings and words of power, talismans and amulets, but most of all there are doors
In the pit of my stomach was a rock, pressing and pressing. I saw my death standing by the side of the road, among the sick trees.
The worst thing we can think of, we’ve done.
The guava season is getting ready to end so now we prowl Budapest like we’re hunting animals. We carefully comb and comb the streets, eyes trained on the trees so hard our necks could strain.
So where are the handcuffs and squad car, or are you going to call the police for that part? Where is your roger-over, can I see it? Is it true that they can kill you there, in jail?
Going to my twenty-fifth college reunion last May, there was a panel—the writers panel—and the guy was moderating says, ok, I’m going to ask each of you a really difficult question, and his really difficult question for me was, what’s it like being married to James Wood, and I asked, is this the point where you want me to get up and walk out of the room?