Elizabeth Kostova

Literary Birthday – 26 December – Elizabeth Kostova

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Kostova, born 26 December 1964.


  1. It was good to walk into a library again; it smelled like home.
  2. Never before had I known the sudden quiver of understanding that travels from word to brain to heart, the way a new language can move, coil, swim into life under the eyes, the almost savage leap of comprehension, the instantaneous, joyful release of meaning, the way the words shed their printed bodies in a flash of heat and light.
  3. When you handle books all day long, every new one is a friend and a temptation.
  4. There is nothing harder, at moments, than talking to someone who has all the power of silence.
  5. As you know, human history is full of evil deeds, and maybe we ought to think of them with tears, not fascination.
  6. And how could anyone consent to give up the smell of open books, old or new?
  7. I wanted to write an adventure story in which the heroes were not Indiana Jones but scholars: librarians, archivists, historians. (via)
  8. When you write fiction it doesn’t matter how far away from your own life you begin, you always end up somehow at yourself. (via)
  9. I started writing a novel about Dracula but gradually discovered that among other things I was writing a love story across the iron curtain, a story about a young woman who has been brought up in a very intellectual, academic atmosphere where learning is valued but people are sheltered. So some of this is also the story of her movement out of books and into the world. (via)

Elizabeth Kostova is an American author best known for her debut novel The Historian. She is also the author of The Swan Thieves and The Shadow Land. The Historian was the first debut novel in U.S. publishing history to debut at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and it has been translated into 40 languages.

Source for image:

Author’s website


by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 26th December 2018