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Emma Donoghue's Quotes

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Born: 1969-10-24
Profession: Playwright
Nation: Irish
Biography of Emma Donoghue

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Before I had kids, I thought you should never lie to a kid. But now I've had them, I realize you almost lie to them by definition, because if you're trying to summarize something for your 1-year-old, you put it in very simple terms. You only gradually complicate the explanation as they get older.

Tags: Lie, Simple, Trying

I come out of an academic background, and I'm aware that what I'm doing is simultaneously research and fiction. I want to meet both those obligations.

Tags: Both, Meet, Research

I have never been depressed or thrown a plate, which I attribute to the cathartic effects of writing books about people whose lives are more grueling than mine.

Tags: Books, Lives, Writing

I remember a period where my publisher said to me, 'Look, your historical work is selling much better than your contemporary work, so please give us more historicals.'

Tags: Give, Remember, Work

I think the only difference between me and other people is that when I hear of an interesting historical incident, I immediately write it down and Google it.

Tags: Between, Difference, Write

I would say I have sort of a natural gift for character, and following one person's point of view at a time, and dialogue, but I'm not naturally good at strong plot.

Tags: Good, Strong, Time

I'm constantly saying, 'I read a fascinating article in 'The New Yorker'... ' I say it so often that sometimes I think I have nothing interesting to say myself, I merely regurgitate 'The New Yorker.'

Tags: Often, Saying, Sometimes

I'm not at all snobby about book prizes and how they pollute the world of literature. Just like with the Olympics, a little bit of competition gets people truly engrossed in the business of literature.

Tags: Bit, Book, Business

Kids delight in 'magical thinking', whether in the form of the Tooth Fairy or the saints: whether you see these as comforting lies or eternal verities, they are part of how we help kids make sense of the world.

Tags: Help, Sense, Thinking

One thing I like about historical fiction is that I'm not constantly focusing on me, or people like me; you're obliged to concentrate on lives that are completely other than your own.

Tags: Fiction, Historical, Lives

Some writers can produce marvelous plots without planning it out, but I can't. In particular I need to know the structure of a novel: what's going to happen in each chapter and each scene.

Tags: Happen, Novel, Writers

There's no neutral language about travel. Either travel is described in ways that make it sound kind of shallow or just glossy or silly or a way for rich people to spend their time; or else travel is often described in quite derogatory ways, you know, like immigrants swarming across borders, for instance.

Tags: Rich, Time, Travel

You know the way there are two kinds of actors - the De Niro kind who's always De Niro, and then somebody like Daniel Day-Lewis, who transforms himself eerily? Well, I aim to be the Daniel Day-Lewis kind of writer. I don't have a house style.

Tags: Himself, House, Somebody

You know, plenty of people headed off to Canada or America on the basis of government information, propaganda campaigns. Often you'd go off with a brochure in hand and you'd turn up and it wouldn't be like that at all.

Tags: America, Government, Off

For all that being a parent is normal statistically, it's not normal psychologically. It produces some of the most extreme emotions you'll ever have.

Tags: Emotions, Normal, Parent

I tend to be so lost in the work that I don't notice the weather. My partner will come home and say, 'Beautiful day, wasn't it?' and I'll say, 'Was it?' as I won't have noticed the real world at all.

Tags: Beautiful, Home, Work

A memoir is always the most authentic telling of a situation, but a novel gets to different places.

Tags: Novel, Places, Situation

Any parent knows how to be the ideal parent.

Tags: Ideal, Knows, Parent

Every parent has those moments where they look at their child and think, 'There's a demon in those eyes and no one can see it but me!'

Tags: Child, Eyes, Parent

I am clumsy, a late and nervous driver, and despise all sports except a little gentle dancing or yoga.

Tags: Except, Late, Sports

I got in the habit of giving away a book as soon as I've finished it because I lived in a housing co-op at Cambridge and had no space to keep books.

Tags: Away, Book, Giving

I hate desks; they make me feel like a child doing homework.

Tags: Child, Hate, Homework

I love it when novels contain a broad cast of characters, including queer ones.

Tags: Characters, Love, Queer

I read three books a week.

Tags: Read, Three, Week

I think it would be a shame for any writer to let their publishers in any way corral them into a single genre.

Tags: Shame, Single, Writer

I'm a huge planner, more and more so as the years go by.

Tags: Huge, Planner
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Much more quotes by Emma Donoghue below the page.

I'm finding that success is way more time-consuming than failure ever was.

Tags: Failure, Finding, Success

I'm named after Jane Austen's Emma, and I've always been able to relate to her. She's strong, confident but quite tactless.

Tags: Able, After, Strong

I'm really not one of these procrastinators who cleans the house in order to put off writing, but life gets in the way.

Tags: Life, Put, Writing

I've always been religiously inclined, but it doesn't come up in most of my books.

Tags: Books, Inclined

I've been writing full-time since I was 23.

Tags: Since, Writing

Identity politics are wearisome; you don't want to go on speaking for any one group as a writer.

Tags: Group, Politics, Writer

It's painful to consider anything but writing.

Tags: Consider, Painful, Writing

The great thing about a short story is that it doesn't have to trawl through someone's whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.

Tags: Great, Life, Someone

The way to my heart is through Belgian milk chocolate.

Tags: Chocolate, Heart, Milk

Writers should be applauded for their ability to make things up.

Tags: Ability, Applauded, Writers

You cannot predict literary success; the only way you can possibly aim for it is to do your thing and do it well.

Tags: Aim, Cannot, Success

You're meant to have an unhappy childhood to be a writer, but there's a lot to be said for a very happy one that just lets you get on with it.

Tags: Happy, Said, Unhappy

Ah yes, the paradox of publicity is that even as we do it, we know it's killing off the chance of another reader happening across our book in the ideal state of innocence.

Tags: Another, Book, Chance