How Nicole Krauss writes

Nicole Krauss: “The only way I could write about these things was projecting them into the character of this old, isolated, charming but difficult man. I could express things that I simply couldn’t in my own skin, in my own life… I think that is what one is always doing as a writer. Not just self-expression, but something bigger than that, which is self-invention. In that process of self-invention you are expanding a portion of yourself… Writers are kind of like mockingbirds, in that they take what is interesting and shiny and useful from their own lives and they weave it into this tapestry that they’re making.”
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, May 19, 2017]

Nicole Krauss

[photo: Patric Shaw]

I understand the mockingbird image, I prefer to think of myself as a magpie. I collect the glittering things, a word, an idea, an emotion, a photograph, and store them away. Perhaps more of a squirrel than a magpie, actually. Every now and then I turn out the contents of the tin – which is full of folded newspaper and magazine cuttings – and my old-fashioned index file – full of cards with sometimes a sentence or only one word written on them – and I pick-and-mix. I believe an idea is never wasted, it just may not be used for twenty years.

Nicole Krauss is talking about her novel The History of Love. Read more about her books at her website.

Nicole Krauss


‘The History of Love’ by Nicole Krauss [UK: Penguin]

See how these other authors write:-
Sebastian Barry
Anne Tyler
Gail Honeyman

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Self-invention: how #author Nicole Krauss projects herself onto her characters #writing via @SandraDanby