Literature is a place of generosity and affection and hunger for equals—not a prizefight ring. We are increased, confirmed in our medium, roused to do our best, by every good writer, every fine achievement. Would we want one good writer or fine book less?

—Tillie Olsen, Silences


Any writer’s worldview will be reflected in her fiction, if it’s honest fiction, true fiction—and to me, that term “true fiction” is not an oxymoron.

—Lee Smith, interview


I was privileged to learn from my dog how to get my human ego and intellect out of the way . . . and how to let the Universe express itself through us.

—J. Allen Boone, Kinship with All Life


Writing a story or novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.

—Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings


Rock and roll is about desire, about wanting something better. I think my characters all want something better. My understanding of the rock and roll dream is that a kid in an isolated place or a small town or an underprivileged world could transcend it somehow.

—Bobbie Ann Mason