Amelie Nothomb

  • Belgian writer
  • Born July 9, 1966

Fabienne-Claire Nothomb (French: [a.me.li nɔ.tɔ̃b]), better known by her pen name Amélie Nothomb, is a Belgian Francophone novelist. Part of her childhood was spent in Asia. A prolific author, since the publication of her first novel Hygiene and the Assassin in 1992, at the age of twenty six, she has published a book a year. Her novels are among the top literary sales and have been translated into several languages, which earned her the title of Commander of the Order of the Crown and the title of Baroness bestowed upon her by King Philippe of Belgium.

I will never be one of the happy stupid that were born somewhere. This way of life is excellent for the imagination. It develops your paranoia. You feel paranoid when you don't understand a country, and being paranoiac is excellent for fiction.

I eat in a strange way, but I enjoy it. Everything became well when I finally understood that I enjoy being hungry. Normally, I only eat in the evening.

Luckily I haven't fallen into the trap, which has claimed so many writers, of living from day to day thinking 'Ah, I'll write a book about that.'

More and more I understand that it's very fine not to know where you come from.

When you have a lot of success you don't need vanity any more.

It's while writing that suddenly a point of view appears: 'So, that's what I really thought about this thing'. Then it feels part of me.

When I want to be incognito, I don't wear any hat. Unfortunately, even without the hat, they now recognise me in Paris.

I thought maybe I would become a god, or a goddess, or a president or a Nobel Prize winner.

I need to be very hungry all the time. I need to be very hungry to write.

I never even dreamt of being a writer because I didn't feel allowed. When I was a child I was terribly ambitious, but I didn't know at all what this great thing would become.

I've noticed it a lot. I'm not someone who revises. It's always the first movement, it's that. It's an instinct. Either it works straight away, or it won't ever work.