Literary Birthday – 3 February – Richard Yates

Richard Yates was born 3 February 1926, and died 7 November 1992.


  1. If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one; that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy.
  2. I’m only interested in stories that are about the crushing of the human heart.
  3. Never say anything that doesn’t improve on silence.
  4. No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.
  5. If you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone.

Richard Yates was an American novelist and short story writer, known for his exploration of mid-20th century life. He is the author of Revolutionary Road, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, his first collection of short stories was widely praised. Kurt Vonnegut said that it was ‘the best short-story collection ever written by an American’.

Click here to see a photograph of the author

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd February 2014