Literary bits & pieces

This is quite good but the best quotation is the first one from Elizabeth Wurtzel. Never mind the bizarre photo accompanying it. You glance at it: something’s not quite right. You look closely at it. Yep, it’s weird.


It’s really hard to be a writer. You have to be born with incredible amounts of talent. Then you have to work hard. Then you have to be able to handle tons of rejection and not mind it and just keep pushing away at it. You have to show up at people’s doors. You can’t just email and text message people. You have to bang their doors down. You have to be interesting. You have to be fucking phenomenal to get a book published and then sell the book. When people think their writing career is not working out, it’s not working out because it’s so damn hard. It’s not harder now than it was 20 years ago. It’s just as hard. It was always hard.

− Elizabeth Wurtzel from this post about 19 writing tips from writers and editors for the New Yorker.


Fantastic article from Geoff Dyer on his recent stroke. This came via twitter and facebook from my agent Virginia Lloyd.



Chekhov and Tolstoy in Yalta, 1900


Great essay from Anna Goldsworthy on being told she was in birth denial. (Extract from her book Welcome to Your New Life.)


A list of 11 under-appreciated literary masterpieces.


Good news for fans of Emma Donoghue’s Room, a new novel: Frog Music.


Really interesting post on Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend, looking at why it was a best-seller. It’s got charts and everything! (The post, not the book.)


And from the Sydney Review of Books, a piece on the value of Australian literary publications: Nimble Innovators.

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