Progressive stages of revision eliminate incidence in favor of essence.
I'll rid the world of bad things. But first, I need to get more coffee.
I used bravado to protect myself when we lived in poverty.
I want to focus on bears. On knowing them, and on what they need.
Man is always beginning everything anew, even in his own life.
The survival of our world depends upon the cultivation of better language.
Advance planning was never Hank’s strong suit, he had to leave her.
Fiction, no matter how short or long, is the art form of human yearning.
Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.
Here is my aphorism of the day: Happy people are monogamous.
The excuse, of course, was that men had to support families.
You can go from one town square to another and never fall in love.
We need the opportunity to dance with really exquisite strangers.
She countered the reverence of his efforts stroke by stroke, tit for tat.
He was gentle and slow, like a blind man washing dishes.
“Ten lo,” she says when you’ve finished. Have it.
Writing is a subversive activity that exempts you from the rules.
My advice can be succinctly expressed in three words: Persist, persist, persist!
To see—and to see properly—is the writer’s central responsibility.
Getting answers is easy. The difficult thing is knowing the right questions.
Needless to say, when it was my night to read I was beyond terrified.
It holds a place in my heart: Never forget the suspenders.
Truths don’t eclipse each other—they only complicate each other.
I am always hungry & wanting to have sex. This is a fact.
If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.
The handwritten first draft pages of Robert Olen Butler's first novel.
Words and sketches from Gail Godwin’s upcoming novel Flora.
Manuscript pages from The Blue Flower and The Bookshop.