I believe that if your primary motivation in life is to be moral, you don't become an artist.
Waiting is the great vocation of the dispossessed.
Everything that turned out well for me seems like a fluke. I feel like, at any moment, I could lose everything and be working at Dunkin' Donuts.
My father died when I was seven. I guess I am interested in fatherlessness as a metaphor for vulnerability and unprotectedness. Being on your own in the world in a way you're not quite ready for, ever.
I don't have any great first job tales: I've never worked on a tramp steamer or in a coal mine or anything like that. I think the inspiration for my writing came largely from my father and the joy that life in books represented to me.
I love dancing; I adore salsa dancing and wish I could be in a Broadway chorus.
Feminism is very much a part of a lot of my student's lives, but they're not going to march about it or take a public political stance. And I think more and more young women are claiming that they're not feminists - even though they are.
I think coldness is chic among writers, and particularly ironic coldness. What is absolutely not allowable is sadness. People will do anything rather than to acknowledge that they are sad.
My father's politics and ideas were, to me, unforgivable. He was a Jewish convert who became very anti-Semitic, and I didn't find the anti-Semitism forgivable.
My mother really loved me. And one of the gifts that I have been given is that I have never thought for one second of my life that I was not greatly beloved.
My favorite dish is bibimbap, which is composed of various vegetables, steamed and pickled, and meat toppings over a bed of rice.
I would trade any writerly success if it would mean my children would be happy.
It was actually a women's writing group I belonged to in graduate school that gave me the courage to move from poetry to fiction.
My life is so much better than I thought it was going to be.
My weakness is 'American Idol.' My husband thinks it's ridiculous. But I am so inspired by those young people who are singing their guts out.
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