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Mark Haddon's Quotes

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Born: 1962-09-26
Profession: Novelist
Nation: English
Biography of Mark Haddon

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No one wants to know how clever you are. They don't want an insight into your mind, thrilling as it might be. They want an insight into their own.

Tags: Might, Mind, Wants

Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.

Tags: Book, Good, Talk

Science and literature give me answers. And they ask me questions I will never be able to answer.

Tags: Able, Give, Science

That's important to me, to find the extraordinary inside the ordinary.

Tags: Inside, Ordinary

The one thing you have to do if you write a book is put yourself in someone else's shoes. The reader's shoes. You've got to entertain them.

Tags: Book, Someone, Yourself

There's something with the physical size of America... American writers can write about America and it can still feel like a foreign country.

Tags: America, American, Country

Use your imagination, and you'll see that even the most narrow, humdrum lives are infinite in scope if you examine them with enough care.

Tags: Care, Enough, Lives

Young readers have to be entertained. No child reads fiction because they think it's going to make them a better person.

Tags: Child, Fiction, Young

I better make the plot good. I wanted to make it grip people on the first page and have a big turning point in the middle, as there is, and construct the whole thing like a roller coaster ride.

Tags: Big, Good, Wanted

If kids like a picture book, they're going to read it at least 50 times. Read anything that often, and even minor imperfections start to feel like gravel in the bed.

Tags: Book, Kids, Start

When I was writing for children, I was writing genre fiction. It was like making a good chair. It needed four legs of the same length, it had to be the right height and it had to be comfortable.

Tags: Children, Good, Writing

Writing for children is bloody difficult; books for children are as complex as their adult counterparts, and they should therefore be accorded the same respect.

Tags: Children, Respect, Writing

For me, disability is a way of getting some extremity, some kind of very difficult situation, that throws an interesting light on people.

Tags: Difficult, Getting, Light

From a good book, I want to be taken to the very edge. I want a glimpse into that outer darkness.

Tags: Book, Darkness, Good

Most adults, unlike most children, understand the difference between a book that will hold them spellbound for a rainy Sunday afternoon and a book that will put them in touch with a part of themselves they didn't even know existed.

Tags: Book, Children, Sunday

Every life is narrow. Our only escape is not to run away, but to learn to love the people we are and the world in which we find ourselves.

Tags: Away, Life, Love

If you enjoy math and you write novels, it's very rare that you'll get a chance to put your math into a novel. I leapt at the chance.

Tags: Chance, Enjoy, Put

At 20, 25, 30, we begin to realise that the possibilities of escape are getting fewer. We have jobs, children, partners, debts. This is the part of us to which literary fiction speaks.

Tags: Children, Escape, Getting

I am atheist in a very religious mould. I'm always asking myself the big questions. Where did we come from? Is there a meaning to all of this? When I find myself in church, I edit the hymns as I sing them.

Tags: Big, Meaning, Religious

I don't remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.

Tags: Gay, Hope, Writing

I think most writers feel like they're on the outside looking in much of the time. All of us feel, to a certain extent, alienated from the stuff going on around us.

Tags: Looking, Stuff, Time

As a kid, I didn't read a great deal of fiction, and I've forgotten most of what I did read.

Tags: Deal, Great, Read

B is for bestseller.

Tags: Bestseller

Bore children, and they stop reading. There's no room for self-indulgence or showing off or setting the scene.

Tags: Children, Off, Reading

Children simply don't make the distinction; a book is either good or bad. And some of the books they think are good are very, very bad indeed.

Tags: Bad, Children, Good

I don't mean that literary fiction is better than genre fiction, On the contrary; novels can perform two functions and most perform only one.

Tags: Contrary, Fiction, Mean
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I knew there was a story; once you find a dog with a fork through it, you know there's a story there.

Tags: Dog, Once, Story

I started writing books for children because I could illustrate them myself and because, in my innocence, I thought they'd be easier.

Tags: Children, Thought, Writing

I think the U.K. is too small to write about from within it and still make it seem foreign and exotic and interesting.

Tags: Small, Within, Write

I was born too late for steam trains and a lazy eye meant I'd never be an astronaut.

Tags: Born, Late, Lazy

I've worked in television long enough to know that when you stop enjoying that type of thing you go home and do something else.

Tags: Else, Enough, Home

I've written 16 children's books and five unpublished novels. Some of the latter were breathtakingly bad.

Tags: Bad, Books, Children

If one book's done this well, you want to write another one that does just as well. There's that horror of the second novel that doesn't match up.

Tags: Another, Book, Done

Jane Austen was writing about boring people with desperately limited lives. We forget this because we've seen too many of her books on screen.

Tags: Boring, Forget, Writing

Many children's writers don't have children of their own.

Tags: Children, Writers

Most of my work consisted of crossing out. Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.

Tags: Good, Work, Writing

My book has a very simple surface, but there are layers of irony and paradox all the way through it.

Tags: Book, Irony, Simple
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