Barbara Pym (1913 – 1980) was a British author whose novels explored manners and morals in village life. Yet even though most of the action, such as it is, is set in small town England locales, her stories convey universal truths about human foibles. She published thirteen novels in her lifetime, four published posthumously. The following selection of quotes from Excellent Women and other novels by Barbara Pym demonstrate her sense of irony and subtle, understated wit.
The novels published in her lifetime are considered the Pym canon, with many devotees citing Excellent Women as their entry-point or favorite. Pym was often compared to Jane Austen for her comedies of manner; she has been called Britain’s “other Jane Austen” or “new Jane Austen.” Read More→
Anaïs Nin (1903 – 1977) was best known for her multi-volume Diary of Anaïs Nin, which became an iconic series of writings in feminist literature. She was a splendid essayist as well. The sampling of quotes that follow reflect her passionate nature and deep commitment to the writing life.
Born in France in 1903, Nin spent her teens living in the U.S., becoming self-educated and working as a model and dancer before returning to Europe in the 1920s.
From the earliest of her diaries, written while still in her teens, to one of her last essays, published just a year before her death in 1977, it’s clear that writing was what shaped her life and gave it meaning. Read More→
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) was a renowned British author who led a writing life of the inimitable artist. Though she was known for her modesty and charm, she was fully aware of and mastered her gifts as a writer and observer. Here you’ll find a selection of quotes about Jane Austen from authors, actors, and other notable public figures.
Born in Stevenson, Hampshire (England) to a middle-class family who valued education, Austen’s talents were recognized early on and taken seriously by her whole family. The males in her family played a key role in getting her first works published.
Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility set the stage for slow and steady sales for her subsequent books. Ever since her works have captured the imaginations of readers and writers everywhere. She has influenced generations of writers, and it seems that many have an opinion about her.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982) is a 1957 novel by the controversial author known for her Objectivist philosophy. Atlas Shrugged was her fourth and longest novel, her last major work of fiction, and the one she considered her magnum opus. She went on to focus on nonfiction after its publication. Here we’ll explore a selection of quotes from Atlas Shrugged that give a taste of its style and substance.
The novel takes place in a version of the United States where private businesses are suffering due to harsh regulations and laws. Lovers Dagny Taggart and Hank Reardon struggle to fight against looters who are aiming to profit from their productivity.
In their struggle to protect their business, they discover that a strange man named John Galt is attempting to persuade other business owners to leave their companies as a strike against the looters. Towards the end of the novel, the strikers use Galt’s philosophy of reason and individualism to create a new capitalist society.
Toni Morrison (1931 – 2019) was an American novelist, editor, essayist, teacher, and professor. She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her body of work examined the black experience in America through great storytelling. This post will present a selection of wise quotes by Toni Morrison on writing, living, and love.
Morrison was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio in a working-class African-American family that influenced her love and appreciation for black culture. Growing up, she saw first-hand the horrifying reality of racism in America and used her understanding of racial history to connect it with the present.
Morrison was a great influence on numerous writers, including National Book Award finalist Jamel Brinkley, best-selling author Julia Alvarez, prize-winning poet Saeed Jones, and many more. American author George Saunders said, “There is something about the scale of her work that inspires other writers to think in a more expansive way,” and added, “she inspires with her incredible language and also the moral-ethical intensity of her work.”