I’m still learning my craft.
Reality is how we interpret it. Imagination and volition play a part in that interpretation. Which means that all reality is to some extent a fiction.
If I didn’t have children, I think my life would be a failure.
Music moves me – duh – and that is like having a window opening on a heightened reality, but the effect is fleeting: When the music ends, the magic, the uplifting, vanishes and the window slams shut. Words, on the other hand, by the nature of how they work, emotions evoked by dint of carefully laid out thoughts, have a more lingering effect.
Any writer will be happy and good only if they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
I like using animals because they help suspend my reader’s disbelief. We have certain ideas about dentists. We don’t have many ideas about rhinoceros dentists.
A great literary work can be completely, completely unpredictable. Which can sometimes make them very hard to read, but it gives them a great originality.
The language of prose is very different than the language of cinema, so the movie has to successfully translate what was in the book.
It’s true, too, that I’m tired of using books as political bullets and grenades. Books are too precious and wonderful to be used for long in such a fashion.
I write slowly.
I can’t live for more than four years outside of Canada. I’m Canadian, so ultimately that is my reference point.
I am not an autobiographical writer.
If you write genre fiction, you follow the rules, and you have to follow them because readers expect that.
How do you live with evil? Art is traditionally – certainly with my secular background – the answer, but art is very self-referential, whereas religion claims to go beyond the bounds of human existence.
You can’t quantify human pain the way you can measure out sugar. Death comes one individual at a time.
I think art comes from some sense of discomfort with the world, some sense of not quite fitting with it.
May books spread the world over!
A movie will do in one second, with one image, what it will take a novelist at least a page to describe.
Most of us get our history through story.
‘Life of Pi’ was actually a very simple novel to write.
I love Canada. It’s a wonderful political act of faith that exists atop a breathtakingly beautiful land.
Fanatics do not have faith – they have belief. With faith you let go. You trust. Whereas with belief you cling.
I’m looking at a dead event and trying to give it new life. In a sense, I’m a taxidermist.
Books are something social – a writer speaking to a reader – so I think making the reading of a book the center of a social event, the meeting of a book club, is a brilliant idea.
Cinema is incredibly concise.
Words are much better at relating emotions and thoughts.
Cinema is visually powerful, it is a complete experience, reaches a different audience. It’s something I really like. I like movies.
In all big cities the style of life is the same. Same endless array of restaurants; same big museums with the usual suspects; same anonymity, which can be thrilling when you’re young but which I found got tiresome.
I find that movies tend to fix the aesthetics of a story in people’s minds.
My next book – each one while I’m working on it – dances in my mind and thrills me at every turn. If it didn’t, why would I write it?
I’m not a consumer. I hate buying clothes. I don’t have a mobile. I just don’t need things. I don’t like things.
Words aren’t very good at describing complicated, strange visual things. You can try, and the reader will have some sort of image in their mind, but words aren’t good at that.
A movie is so visually powerful, so overwhelming, that it tends to crowd out how you might have imagined things.
If a film project were available and the timing was right, I might be interested.
Every book I’ve written has been a different attempt to understand something, and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want.
I’m happy pretty well anywhere on this big, beautiful planet.
The idea of a flip book still really appeals to me. That idea of fiction and non-fiction.