Literary Birthday – 14 January – David Bergen

Happy Birthday, David Bergen, born 14 January 1957.


  1. When I get moved to write a story, I don’t question the story. I dive right in, and I try to ignore the voices that are chattering away at me: ‘You can’t do that’, ‘You shouldn’t do that’. I just sort of leap and take a chance and go for it.
  2. That’s the novelist’s job: to peel back the layers and look underneath.
  3. For me, when I ‘discover’ a story, there is a feeling of buoyancy and clarity, perhaps similar to early morning out on a prairie highway, when darkness lifts and reveals the outline of farmhouses and copses of trees in the distance.
  4. You are only as good as your last book, and so there has to be a book.
  5. As a writer, you write the book, you give it to your editor, it’s copy edited, it’s published, it’s thrown out there, and then there’s a response.
  6. Invite characters of surprising and moral character, or at least those who grapple with what is right or those who make decisions that shock.
  7. An editor is an accomplice, looking in from the outside. That objective view is essential. We don’t write in a vacuum, and we don’t publish in a vacuum.

David Bergen is a Canadian novelist. He has published nine novels and one collection of short stories. Among his acclaimed works are The Time in Between, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize; The Matter with Morris, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Stranger, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize.

Source – image Dan Harasymchuk, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons / quotes

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 13th January 2020