Literary Birthday – 3 March – Patricia MacLachlan

Happy Birthday, Patricia MacLachlan, born 3 March 1938 and died 31 March 2022.


  1. There is always something to miss, no matter where you are.
  2. Sometimes poetry—words—give us a small, lovely look at ourselves. And sometimes that is enough.
  3. My inspiration for writing is all the wonderful books that I read as a child and that I still read. I think that for those of us who write, when we find a wonderful book written by someone else, we don’t really get jealous, we get inspired, and that’s kind of the mark of what a good writer is.
  4. My greatest fear is being somewhere without a book.
  5. You will have a story in there… or a character, a place, a poem, a moment in time. When you find it, you will write it. Word after word after word after word.
  6. Fact and fiction are different truths.
  7. I have great respect for children. And I have great respect for their ability as writers.
  8. I, myself, write to change my life, to make it come out the way I want it to. But other people write for other reasons: to see more closely what it is they are thinking about, what they may be afraid of. Sometimes writers write to solve a problem, to answer their own question. All these reasons are good reasons. And that is the most important thing I’ll ever tell you. Maybe it is the most important thing you’ll ever hear. Ever.
  9. There are some things for which there are no answers, no matter how beautiful the words may be.
  10. Life is made up of circles… Life is not a straight line… And sometimes we circle back to a past time. But we are not the same. We are changed forever.

Patricia MacLachlan was an American children’s writer. She was best known for writing the 1986 Newbery Medal-winning novel, Sarah, Plain and Tall.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd March 2015