Literary Birthday – 12 July – Adam Johnson

Happy Birthday, Adam Johnson, born 12 July 1967.

Five Quotes

  1. Being in an M.F.A. is like living in a sci-fi biosphere on an alien planet, where everyone shares your obscure visionary notions: namely, that literature matters, that English professors know more than other people, that typing, alone, in a library, is what everyone should be doing on a Friday night. Better to tell strangers that speaking Klingon is what turns you on.
  2. The urge to create a fictional narrative is a mysterious one, and when an idea comes, the writer’s sense of what a story wants to be is only vaguely visible through the penumbra of inspiration.
  3. The darkness inside your head is something your imagination fills with stories that have nothing to do with the real darkness around you.
  4. I know it really sounds cheesy, but I did feel a duty to try to tell the stories of people who couldn’t speak for themselves.
  5. Find a mentor. Writers, in my opinion, seem to be a generous lot. They have a lot to teach and share if you’re willing to seek them out. Be humble, think of writing as a lifelong process of learning, and your audience will come.

Adam Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist and short story writer. He is the author of The Orphan Master’s Son.

Source for photograph: Roms69, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 12th July 2015