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Amity Gaige

  • American novelist
  • Born 1972

Amity Gaige (born 1972) is an American novelist, known for her books O My Darling, The Folded World and Schroder. In 2006 the National Book Foundation named her a 5 under 35 honoree.


Let's admit it; the only use for complaining is to make people laugh.




It goes without saying that before its culture and literature can continue to evolve, Latvia first must endure the political comedy of creating a stable, functioning and unthreatened democracy.




'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' is, to my mind, a work of perfect genius.




Reading 'Blood Will Out,' one begins to understand how so many people were duped by Clark Rockefeller. All the imposter needs is some kind of initial agreement that he is who he says he is; thereafter, consensus builds via a network of human relationships.




If you could literally 'rid' yourself of your problems by voicing them, I'd be all for it. But since that isn't so, why not reserve the spoken word for functional interactions and witticisms, if not declarations of love?




To me, self-esteem is not self-love. It is self-acknowledgment, as in recognizing and accepting who you are.




I was born on an even keel. Family lore says I never cried, even at birth. I felt at ease on earth, in the right place. And like many children, I took comfort in life's regularity: Every few days it rained, the school bus came and went, and my parents were rooted in their union.




I think a writer is a describer. She describes society and human nature as she sees it. She has to be both typical of that society and alone within it.




I love writing letters. In order to write a novel in first person, I think I needed an addressee.




Nobody writes like Nabokov; nobody ever will. What I would give to write one sentence like Vladimir!




My mother was born in Latvia. She and most of her family fled from the capital city of Riga in 1944 with the final approach of the Soviet army.




I do think, in general, children are so perceptive, and they watch and they get so much, and that's wonderful. And it's also difficult for them because they see so much, but they don't understand.




I often read poetry to 'warm up' before I write.




Self-esteem comes quietly, like the truth.




Parenthood is a psychic sweat lodge: enter into it only if you are ready to have your own secreted toxins running into your eyes. Few people are prepared for its power - women or men.




For several years before I began 'The Folded World,' I worked at an urban college campus and had a job in a tutoring center, and people would come into the tutoring center, and for some reason, they just kept telling me their life stories.




There would be times when I got so much work that I didn't have time to write. School interfered with writing more than writing with school.




I often heard Latvians compare Russia and America. Latvians find both countries and their leaders possessed of the same mysterious confidence.




I think I have a very American desire and willingness to divulge everything. I would divulge more if I didn't know it wasn't smart.




I certainly want people to like my writing, but I know that if I write with the intention of trying to please people, the writing will not be good because it will not be authentic. So, ironically, I have to be willing to write something strange or unlovable in order to write anything truly good.




In the name of 'mutual assistance,' the Soviet Union would occupy Latvia until 1991, and it continues to occupy Latvia: in the obedient, epic lines at the post office, in the fug of coal smoke outside cities, in the notorious apartment buildings made of bricks of radioactive compressed ash.




I think marriage and family keeps being written about because that's where we keep our reputations with ourselves - I mean, we can't quite slip the truths we reveal about ourselves at home.




I wanted - and still want - to tell my mother's story. She fled Stalin's army in 1944, leaving Latvia, which was to be occupied by the Soviets for the next 50 years, and arrived to the U.S. when she was 11.




Oh, I'm a pretty bad poet. This has been corroborated by others.




I researched children's rights, divorce law, and parental kidnapping. Millions of children and parents are touched by the inadequacy of the legal system to deal with the human heart.




I loved Madeleine L'Engle as a child - 'A Wrinkle in Time.'




Don't let anyone tell you there's only one way to write.




In the best writers, the outward-reaching interest in the 'found subject' leads back at a hairpin to some uncomfortable inner recognition that the writer has journeyed very far to see; he comes home half-dead.




Other than a short article I read in 2008 when the real story broke, I have not followed the Clark Rockefeller case, and 'Schroder' is not a novelization of that story.




Reading while I'm writing ideally inspires my competitive side. When I read great writers, I want to be a better writer.




It's dangerous to accept crisis as your baseline. It gets harder and harder to see the anti-crises that are so requisite to happiness: the quiet times, the crucial pauses - like those in a poem.




My personal writing philosophy is to try and write better every day.




Several paranoid suspicions occurred to me, the worst of which was that my whole identity was merely a patched-together set of behaviors designed to keep my parents joined to each other - the repertoire of tricks of a small but intelligent dog.




As separate people, we are weak, but we could be a peaceful, powerful nation.




Edan Lepucki sets her debut novel, 'California,' somewhere in the 2060s. The nearness of this era helps make her vision both more discomfiting and more credible.




I think novels are profoundly autobiographical. If writers deny that, they are lying. Or if it's really true, then I think it's a mistake.



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