Gabrielle Zevin

Literary Birthday – 24 October – Gabrielle Zevin

Happy Birthday, Gabrielle Zevin, born 24 October 1977.


  1. There are so many lives. How we wish we could live them concurrently instead of one by one by one. We could select the best pieces of each, stringing them together like a strand of pearls. But that’s not how it works. A human life is a beautiful mess.
  2. Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time.
  3. People choose to read, and it takes effort. It’s not one of those hobbies that asks nothing of the person who is doing it. It’s more than a hobby.
  4. Before I liked to write, I liked to type. I remember visiting my grandmother Adele in Ponce Inlet, Florida, when I was three years old, and she had an IBM electric typewriter.
  5. I don’t believe in writer’s block.
  6. I wish that the adults who are ‘in power’ cared more about what their children read. Books are incredibly powerful when we are young – the books I read as a child have stayed with me my entire life – and yet, the people who write about books, for the most part, completely ignore children’s literature.
  7. People, you’ll find, aren’t usually all good or bad. Sometimes they’re just a little bit good and a whole lot bad. And sometimes they’re mostly good with a dash of bad. And most of us, well, we fall in the middle somewhere.
  8. I like to believe, as a writer, that anybody who isn’t a reader yet has just not found the right book.
  9. We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on.
  10. On some level, I think we want our reading self to represent our best self.
  11. I think you can do a lot, like describing people with their physical characteristics, things like that, but to me, I’ve always found it to be a much more informative question to ask somebody what they read.
  12. It’s difficult to ever go back to the same places or people. You turn away, even for a moment, and when you turn back around, everything’s changed.
  13. They should tell you when you’re born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.
  14. I like watching what people buy in bookstores. I see people buy books that I strongly suspect they will never read, and as an author, I must tell you, I don’t mind this one bit. We buy books aspirationally.
  15. I believe good things happen every day. I believe good things happen even when bad things happen. And I believe on a happy day like today, we can still feel a little sad. And that’s life, isn’t it?

Gabrielle Zevin is an American author and screenwriter. Her first novel Elsewhere was nominated for a Quill award, won the Borders Original Voices Award, and made the Carnegie long list. It ha s also been translated into over 20 languages.

Source for Image

Picturessandwords, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 24th October 2014