Fiona Maazel

Literary Birthday – 4 March – Fiona Maazel

Happy Birthday, Fiona Maazel, born 4 March 1975.


  1. One thing I can say about my relationship to short fiction is that I try to hold myself to the same standards when I’m writing a novel as I do when I’m writing a short story.
  2. Every line has to be magic, has to aspire to magic, even if the line is, ‘He wet his pants.’
  3. I don’t get any work done at all when I’m teaching. I can’t seem to carve out the time or headspace for it. So mostly I try to spend the semester working on my skills as a reader.
  4. Often, writing fiction for me is just about reaching out in the dark and groping for something that feels right.
  5. I think artists, by default, do the hard work of showing us who we are.
  6. The secret to being a writer is…writing. Writing and revising, which are the essence of discipline.
  7. What’s needed for this work is a healthy ego and an even healthier capacity for self-disgust. Ego gets you writing; self-disgust makes you revise.
  8. Writing is a complicated business! But also incredibly fun. As the old saw goes: If you’re having fun while you work, you will never have worked a day in your life.
  9. So that’s what I tell my students: Go enjoy yourself. Put in the time, but have fun doing it. Excoriate yourself for writing poorly. Lash out at the gods. Drown in your own self-loathing. Then get up with a smile the next day and do it all over again. There really is nothing better.
  10. The trick is learning how to outlast your worst ideas until the good ones start to make their way onto the page. The trick is always to demand more and never to settle.

Fiona Maazel is an American author of the novels: A Little More Human, Woke Up Lonely, and Last Last Chance. She is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Bard Prize for Fiction, and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35″ honoree. She is also the Director of Communications for Measures for Justice, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Source for Image / Source for quotes 1-3 / Source for quotes 4-5 / Source for quotes 6-10

 by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 4th March 2019