Carolyn Chute Quotes

  • With upper- and middle-class lawns, there's more hidden, whereas with working-class or poor lawns, there's more out to see. It just sits right out there. Very honest. Like the people.
  • When I'm not writing, I do a lot of research reading on the shape of civilization. Fiction can be a lot of different things... but I feel like it's my job to write about the way things are.
  • We don't want the government to have anything we don't have, because government isn't 'We The People' anymore.
  • When I write, I just let my characters go, the way I let life go.
  • I am a person who can't teach writing or make a living in any public way, as I get confused when interrupted or overstimulated. In a classroom or crowded room, I all but blank out. So my only income is from novels.
  • Today's world is very cruel.
  • That's the way we see life: your community is your survival. And if you live in a small community like this, even the people you hate you have as friends.
  • We need to stay together, to spread the truth like religion. It's a lonely, scary road, and we've got to walk it together.
  • I love a big book, but it's what most people like which makes commerce sing.
  • People say, 'Well, why don't they get another job, why don't they pick themselves up by their bootstraps?' Well, the people that say that probably have the kind of jobs where they don't work that hard, so maybe they could have another job.
  • Today, somewhere in America, more foreclosures. More auctions. Another farmer plots his own death. And another. There is an art to making your death by combine look like an accident.
  • You go through your life feeling like an outsider, and you respond to society in a different way when you feel like an outsider.
  • There's no writer's block; there's only distraction.
  • Spend as much time as you can in silence. Look at the way the sun paints the ground gold.
  • Sometimes a manuscript is like bread dough. You have to abuse it.
  • It doesn't matter that millions read as long as you share it with somebody. So I don't really think about readers or editors. You especially should never think of editors - especially never think about reviewers.
  • I love people, but I don't do so well in a system. We're poor, and we lead a very different kind of life. We depend on other people so much.
  • Because school was so terrible was probably why I was driven to write.
  • I have lived poverty. I didn't choose it. No one would choose humiliation, pain, and rage.
  • Sadly I don't work well under restrictions. I need to forget the world and its rules and laws in order to enter the dreamlike flow of the fictional world. So I may be in some bad trouble.
  • Grave silence is far more powerful than the same old voices yapping away.
  • I never wanted to be a writer. I still don't.
  • I like starting projects in January. That's the best time to start something. It's so inward.