Literary Birthday – 25 June – Yann Martel

Happy Birthday, Yann Martel, born 25 June 1963.

Yann Martel Quotes

  1. I write at any time of day in any place, so long as it’s quiet and I can set up my computer. I’m a slow writer, given to playing Spider Solitaire when stuck. Otherwise, my writing habits are blindingly boring. I just sit down at the computer and write.
  2. Any writer will be happy and good only if they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
  3. Art is a gift: you create and then you give away. How readers receive that gift is their business. If they hate it, that’s their response to it. Others respond by liking it. Either way, that is their interaction with the book, which is no longer mine.
  4. Fanatics do not have faith – they have belief. With faith you let go. You trust. Whereas with belief you cling.
  5. I’m still learning my craft.
  6. Every book I’ve written has been a different attempt to understand something, and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want.
  7. It’s true, too, that I’m tired of using books as political bullets and grenades. Books are too precious and wonderful to be used for long in such a fashion.
  8. I had good teachers when I was a kid…in a sense, a great teacher does what a great novel does. It gives you a sense of wonder, and you come out of it both entertained—a great teacher makes learning fun—but you also come better because you know more. Hopefully not just in terms of facts, but also in terms of wisdom.
  9. Just do it. Get it down on the page. Work hard. And then let go. Ask yourself why you want to write. You have to be clear about that.
  10. I couldn’t imagine writing without research. I don’t know anything. And I don’t like books that look inward; I like books that look out. To me, the research is a way of exploring what it means to be alive.

Yann Martel is a Canadian author. He won the Man Booker Prize for Life Of Pi. The book was published in more than 30 languages and it was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

Source for image: Shane Lin from Seattle, WA, USA, aka ‘About Malenkov in Exile’ on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.5 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th June 2013