Quote of the Week | Tom Wolfe

Well, everyone, we’ve made it to week two. First and foremost, congratulations. Between classes, assignments, and publishing events, we’ve all hit the ground running.

For returning students, the transition from summer to fall is a familiar one. For new students, many of whom have never lived – or perhaps even visited – this dense and sprawling city, the shift and pace of life can seem overwhelming and mysterious. Even the great mystery novelist Agatha Christie is reported to have said, “It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.”

That said, the American novelist, poet, and short story writer John Updike is renowned for having said, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” 

These teaser quotes have paved the way for what the blog is going to spotlight today for the Quote of the Week. It is an uplifting, hopeful statement  meant to put New York City newbies – those who are familiarizing themselves with Updike’s understanding of the city’s charms – at ease.

One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as
much in five minutes as in five years. “
 — Tom Wolfe


Tom Wolfe
was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1931. After studying at Washington and Lee and Yale, he became a reporter. Very early on in his career, his coverage of Cuba for The Washington Post won him the Washington Newspaper Guild’s foreign news prize. Wolfe is best known, however, for helping to bring about the New Journalism movement, in which literary techniques were combined with journalistic principles to highlight actual events. Wolfe is also the author of 14 books. His most recent novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, was published by Picador in 2005. (Picador is a Macmillan imprint.)

For more on Tom Wolfe, check out this interview with The Daily Beast on memoirs and memory.

 

Quote of the Week | John Irving


Quotes on Education are a dime a dozen on the Internet (please excuse the cliched use of this idiom). Some are real gems, and some are too earnest to post this early-on in the year. Since we’re all embarking on our first full week of the semester, however, education seemed an apropos theme for blog one of the 2017/18 academic year. After all, as screenwriter Gene Perret once said, “Education can get you the only thing that really matters in today’s world – an assigned parking space,” and that’s why we’re all really here – to get a parking space in front of the publishing house that inspired us to apply to this program.

But Perret is not the author we’d like to feature in today’s post. Instead, let’s pivot to the best-selling novelist (and former wrestler) whose writing style has been compared to Charles Dickens by The Boston Globe.


“With every book, you go back to school. You become a student. You become
an investigative reporter. You spend a little time learning what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.” — John Irving

Born in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1942, John Irving wrote his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968 when he was just 26 years old. Throughout his illustrious career, Irving has had 17 books published – 14 novels, two memoirs, and one collection of short stories, although he is best known, perhaps, for his novel The Cider House Rules, which won him an Oscar in 2000 for Best Adapted Screenplay. Irving is no stranger to awards, however. His 1978 novel The World According to Garp earned the National Book award in 1980 and In One Person, his 2014 novel about a bisexual man falling in love with a transgender woman, won the Lambda Literary Award in 2013. His most recent novel, Avenue of Mysteries, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015.

For more on John Irving’s writing process, check out his Big Think interview on “The Thrill of the Black Page.”

quote of the week

“If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie gestures in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday, Sept. 16 2008.(AP Photo/George Osodi)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a nonfiction essayist, a novelist, poet, playwright, and a short story writer. Born in Nigeria, Adichie studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half before coming to America to study communication and political science (from Drexel University and Eastern Connecticut State University); she later received her master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Some of her more well-known works include Americanah, The Thing Around Your Neck, Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus, and We Should All Be Feminists. Adichie has hosted TED talks and had her work featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She’s also racked up many awards and honors, including winning the New York Times Notable Book, People and Black Issues Book Review’s Best Book of the Year, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction.