Marina Lewycka (b. October 12): “Comedy can expose the soul” & other quotes on writing

12 Oct

Marina Lewycka, born 12 October 1946, is a British novelist of Ukrainian origin. Her debut novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was long-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Six quotes on writing:

  1. One of the nice things about being a writer is that no one recognizes you. 
  2. I’m a huge fan of Chaucer, he has the most wonderful characters, and I drew on him a lot for Two Caravans.
  3. My preferred place to write is in bed propped up with lots of cushions, and a nice pot of tea on a tray – but it can be hard on the back.
  4. I like to learn something as I write. I often start out with a subject I don’t know very much about and finding out more makes the process more interesting. 
  5. You think comedy isn’t serious, but with comedy you can say such a lot that serious can’t. Comedy can expose the depths of the soul; funny is what we are when we least intend to be.
  6. You must have a good story and find the right voice to tell it. Another useful tip is show, don’t tell. In other words, don’t write that a character behaved badly, show us their bad behavior instead.

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