“She entered the story knowing she would emerge from it feeling she had been immersed in the lives of others, in plots that stretched back twenty years, her body full of sentences and moments, as if awaking from sleep with a heaviness caused by unremembered dreams.”—Michael Ondaatje
“Often then, still, now, always, if I can use the book as a compass I can right my way. Reading calms me and it clears my head. In the company of a book my mind expands and I find myself less anxious and more aware.”—Jeanette Winterson, A Bed. A Book. A Mountain.
“If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.”—John Steinbeck, after receiving the Nobel Prize for literature