Elizabeth McCracken Quotes

  • There's a good chance that in 40 years, after the floods, people zipping by on scavenged jetpacks with their scavenged baseball caps on backwards, I will be in my rocking chair saying bitterly, 'I remember when 'all right' was two words.'
  • Revising stuff lately, I was shocked to see how often my characters scratched their ankles, felt their feet, and touched their own ears.
  • I have a memory of my fourth-grade self wanting to be the first woman president of the United States, but I think that has a lot more to do with my love of world records and reference books than a love of serving my country.
  • You believe in God or statistics or the way your narrative differs from other people.
  • Life likes jokes; life is constantly making jokes, even at the most inopportune moments.
  • I can't imagine not joking even at the worst of times. And for me, it's sort of automatic.
  • Short fiction is like low relief. And if your story has no humor in it, then you're trying to look at something in the pitch dark. With the light of humor, it throws what you're writing into relief so that you can actually see it.
  • There are two MFA programs here at the University of Texas, and I read on the jury of both of them. And it's amazing to me how many really talented young writers seem to fear humor.
  • I wanted to acknowledge that life goes on but that death goes on, too. A person who is dead is a long, long story.
  • Humor reminds you, when you're flattened by sorrow, that you're still human.
  • Sadness was something I was thinking about in my life outside of writing, so it wormed itself into whatever I wrote.
  • You write the way you think about the world. My motto in times of trouble - and I'm speaking of life, not writing - is 'no humor too black.'
  • I feel like I don't understand time in novels, really. I bumble forward, is all.
  • It's hard to know which made me more aware of the impossibility of protecting children - having a child die or having had two live.
  • When it comes to other people's writing, my older influences are more powerful than more recent ones, partially because I'm now more worried that I'll suddenly accidentally steal something from another writer.
  • I sort of don't believe in closure. In the sense that it doesn't make me feel better to think that something is over.
  • I've always been absolutely appalling about the future, but I sort of think that was my childhood religion. We were future deniers. You did your best in the present, which was all around you.
  • I like seeing my physical progress through a volume, particularly if it's a big book.
  • It's an amazing thing to watch a lizard fold a moth into its mouth, like a sword swallower who specialises in umbrellas.
  • I own an e-reader, but I use it almost exclusively to read things that aren't books - student theses, unbound galleys.
  • I am not a therapy person, but I understand what therapy does. It's a way of translating dark thoughts into something manageable.
  • When you've lost a baby, everyone around you expects you to be fine once the new baby is born, as though that somehow takes away the pain of losing the first child. I needed to express how wrong that was.