Nathan Englander quotes

  • I'd much prefer my books to shoes...In the summer I sometimes take walks without shoes but never without a novel.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Summer #Book #Shoes

  • Harder than waking from a nightmare was trying to wake herself into one.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Trying #Waking #Nightmare

  • You cannot learn to curse like an American.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Curse

  • What interests me when I’m writing is being able to crawl into a character’s head and speak from his or her mouth. It’s not pulling the strings on a marionette, it’s not playing ventriloquist, and it’s not mimicry. It’s about inhabiting a character, and, at the same time, being totally unaware of what you’ve become.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Character #Writing #Mouths

  • Turn off your cell phone. Honestly, if you want to get work done, you’ve got to learn to unplug. No texting, no email, no Facebook, no Instagram. Whatever it is you’re doing, it needs to stop while you write. A lot of the time (and this is fully goofy to admit), I’ll write with earplugs in — even if it’s dead silent at home.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Writing #Home #Phones

  • What interests me when I'm writing is being able to crawl into a character's head and speak from his or her mouth. It's not pulling the strings on a marionette, it's not playing ventriloquist, and it's not mimicry. It's about inhabiting a character, and, at the same time, being totally unaware of what you've become.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Writing #Character #Mouths

  • I literally feel like books saved my life. I found these people. Me reading Camus and Kafka, all of the tortured teenager stuff of someone who's falling in love with books. These people, these writers had the questions. They may not have had the answers, but they're not afraid to look at the questions head on. It was just life-changing for me. Yeah, books, honestly, I can't even tell you. I feel saved by books; I feel like they let me be who I was and find the world I wanted to be in.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Falling In Love #Teenager #Reading

  • I feel like people who become writers are people who have been saved by books.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Book #People

  • I have to work hard and wear pants. I've worked really hard these last years, and since everything is coming together at the same time, I had to move the play back. I'm kind of in love with my theater agent. I'm a true naïve about the theater, a total innocent. He says to me, have you ever been to a rehearsal room? Do you realize you are opening at the Public in New York? You do understand that the audience will be New York theater people?
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Moving #Hard Work #People

  • The more foreign to me, to my existence, to your core existence, the more foreign the foreign language, it's really moving to me to think, to get to experience my own story crossing those boundaries. To have that experience that I so cherished as a reader. I can't believe this. To me, it's really nice because that would be a thing where I'm like, "There may be lots of Jews in my work. I'm not writing stories for Jews. I'm telling stories about people, and Jews are people, too."
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Nice #Believe #Moving

  • I was thinking a lot about myself and my own super inextricably Jewish boy link with my mother. I felt like even a Jewish spy would have this relationship, so yes, I was very much exploring this relationship of boys and their mothers, and Jewish boys and their mothers. Exactly that, the ridiculous lengths that a doting mother will go for her son, and the ridiculous lengths that - I will pretend this is distanced from me - the ridiculous neediness of a grown man for a mother.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Mother #Son #Boys

  • You know, and I don't say this, I'll say as someone who lived in Israel for a long time, let me call myself someone who spent six or seven years in Jerusalem, we don't need any more Americans flying over to fix things. They need to fix it. I'm someone who fell in love with the city and fell in love with a place, and has high hopes for everyone there, the good people on both sides.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Long #People #Flying

  • The Israel Palestine thing, there are infinite sides to each side, but if we stick to the main sides, everybody's in the same boat and it's maddening to me for people not to understand what's in both their best interest.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #People #Boat #Infinite

  • I taught everyone a very bad lesson at my publisher because they actually gave me deadlines this time and I'm now meeting them. I used to say, "Here's my book; it's six years late." I'm so much faster now, and work differently. With all the years of writing, I think I still draft as obsessively, but I think back to writing. On your first story, you start at draft one. On your second story, you start at draft ten. On your third story, you start at draft one hundred. If you need a hundred and eight drafts, you may write eight instead of a hundred and eight.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Book #Writing #Thinking

  • I think books can cure cancer and grow back hair. I can't say it enough. For me, that's why it's so syrupy. It's both syrupy and over the top, and overly sincere, and also dead true. What else can I tell you? A writer can't catch a cab half the time, but when there's a demagogue, when there's a government that wants to suppress, there's a reason that writers end up getting in trouble. It's such a subversive form that can really change people.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Cancer #Book #Thinking

  • The thing you start noticing as books go by, is that you become aware not only of a shape of a career, but of your themes and interests. You don't want writing tricks where you make the same joke every time, but you do start to notice what consumes your mind, or what drives you.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Book #Writing #Mind

  • I sometimes think about that, when I finish in something big I find it even hard, I feel like I lose an actual noticeable percentage of my reading time. Even on the reader end I find it so hard when a book that I love so much ends, to find the kindness to enter into a new one. Do you know what I'm saying? To find my way in, I feel like even there's that space after. I just love inhabiting a book that hits right.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Kindness #Book #Reading

  • I would drink gallons of coffee a day. Even now, off caffeine, I talk faster than anyone you've ever met. I finally recognized that I'm naturally amped up. But when I quit I was worried that I would never write again. It was like anyone who's kicked a habit. I was in a blanket shivering, trying to kick the horse.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Horse #Coffee #Writing

  • To me, when one is writing sometimes about a very specific subject with very specific people, I feel like if that story doesn't cross over, it's not working. That's very beautiful to me, to be sitting in Berlin and there's an actor reading my book in German. I don't even know what's going on, except I know to feel my own rhythms in another language and say, "If this is going well, I think everyone should laugh around now." Then maybe there's laughter, and for me, it reminds me of how story can move around the world.
    -- Nathan Englander

    #Beautiful #Laughter #Reading