Peter Heller

Literary Birthday – 13 February – Peter Heller

Happy Birthday, Peter Heller, born 13 February 1959.


  1. Grief is an element. It has its own cycle like the carbon cycle, the nitrogen. It never diminishes not ever. It passes in and out of everything.
  2. Human beings, by orders of magnitude, remained the most vicious animal on the planet.
  3. The reason people are so moved by art and why artists tend to take it all so seriously is that if they are real and true they come to the painting with everything they know and feel and live, and all the things they don’t know, and some of the things they hope, and they are honest about them all and put them on the canvas. What can be more serious?
  4. New Zealand is weird. I mean, it does not seem of this earth, not to me. It really is like something made up. Species are going extinct because of habitat loss and warming. I feel deeply responsible and think about it every day.
  5. Going Writing, to me, is like kayaking a river. You are paddling down, and you come to a walled-off canyon, and you make a sharp turn, and you don’t know what’s around the corner. It could be a waterfall, it could be a big pool. The narrative current carries you. You’re surprised, and you’re thrilled, and sometimes you’re terrified.
  6. I write a thousand words a day, and I always stop in the middle of a scene or thought, and it makes it easy to pick up on the next day.
  7. Writing Dog Stars was coming home. My spirit just sang. It’s what I wanted to do my whole life.

Peter Heller is an American writer. He is the best-selling author of The Painter and The Dog Stars. An award-winning adventure writer and a longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Kook, The Whale Warriors, and Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet’s Tsangpo River.

Source for photo Credit: John Burcham / Source for quotes / Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 13th February 2018