Téa Obreht

Literary Birthday – 30 September – Téa Obreht

Happy Birthday, Téa Obreht, born 30 September 1985.

Seven Quotes

  1. A family has its own rituals and its own superstitions.
  2. When I hit a block, regardless of what I am writing, what the subject matter is, or what’s going on in the plot, I go back and I read Pablo Neruda‘s poetry. I don’t actually speak Spanish, so I read it translation. But I always go back to Neruda. I don’t know why, but it calms me, calms my brain.
  3. The best fiction stays with you and changes you.
  4. These stories run like secret rivers through all the other stories of his life.
  5. My mother always says that fear and pain are immediate, and that, when they’re gone we’re left with the concept, but not the true memory.
  6. I am very interested in place, and the influences of place on characters.
  7. A lot of writers that I know have told me that the first book you write, you write about your childhood, whether you want to or not. It calls you back.

From High-School Confidential by Téa Obreht

But, in the social hierarchy of school, this host of miseries was overlooked in favor of a much more contemptible indignity: I wanted to be a writer. 
This fact, which I proclaimed upon arrival in middle school, was a source of considerable mirth for the powerful few who dictated the social tide. I had announced it on my first day as naturally as I had given my name, because it was already part of how I saw myself, as fundamental to me as sleeping and breathing; it had never occurred to me that I should conceal my love of writing, that it—and not the well-worn “four-eyes”—might arm the greetings of near-strangers in the hall. “Hey, are you writing?” they would say, when I was lacing my sneakers or standing in the cafeteria line. “Are you gonna write this down?” The only comeback I could muster was to chide my assailants on their lack of imagination—to which I remember one girl replying, “Shut up! I imaginate all the time!”
By the time I got to high school, I had learned to be more cautious about revealing my dreams.

Téa Obreht is an American novelist. Her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Source for Image


PEN American Center, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 30th September 2012