Literary Birthday – 23 March – Jonathan Ames

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Ames, born 23 March 1964.

Jonathan Ames Quotes

  1. Oh, God, I don’t know what’s more difficult, life or the English language.
  2. I don’t really know the person who wrote the things I wrote. I kind of know him, but I change so much all the time that it’s like I start fresh over and over and over and over. Writing-wise and life-wise.
  3. I’ve always been intrigued by Stockholm Syndrome. Reminds me of my childhood.
  4. The work changes the way your face changes and ages – it just does. Also, I have very little connection to anything I’ve written. I move on. We all move on
  5. People don’t expect too much from literature. They just want to know they’re not alone with being confused.
  6. I live for coincidences. They briefly give to me the illusion or the hope that there’s a pattern to my life, and if there’s a pattern, then maybe I’m moving toward some kind of destiny where it’s all explained.
  7. For me, books have always been a way to feel less alone while being alone.
  8. A lot of writing is a form of seeing – putting down what you see in terms of action and landscape.
  9. Whether I’m writing scripts or prose, the goal is identical. To give pleasure. Now whether I succeed or not is up for debate, and, mostly, I fail. But I try. I like to make things. It’s a way to stay busy during one’s ephemeral and confusing life.
  10. I drink coffee. Without coffee, I probably couldn’t write.
  11. A lot of writers, probably because they’re sensitive, which makes them want to be writers, have fears about their masculinity, so they overcompensate by having an interest in boxing and tough-guy things.
  12. I might have some sort of personality disorder. I might not have proper filters; it might be some kind of version of Asperger’s meets Tourettes meets prose.
  13. When I was in college, I had the good fortune to have Joyce Carol Oates as my writing teacher. She told me that I could take an aspect of myself, and from that one bit of personality, I can create a character. This is what I have done, particularly in my novels.
  14. It’s hard for me to think of writing a novel, because it takes so long.
  15. Whenever I wrote fiction, people always seemed to think that what I wrote was true, that it was entirely autobiographical. And when I would write non-fiction, they often accused me of exaggeration and fictionalisation.

Jonathan Ames is an American author of novels and comic memoirs, which include Wake Up, Sir! and The Extra Man. He was also a columnist for the New York Press. He created the HBO television series Bored to Death.

Source for Image: Greg2600, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons / Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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

Posted on: 23rd March 2014