“One of the greatest things about getting older is that nobody has tried to talk to me about Jack Kerouac in at least five years.”—Helena Fitzgerald, “20 Authors I Don’t Have to Read Because I’ve Dated Men for 16 Years” at Electric Literature

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“The whole romance novel industry is about women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance. So there is a big cultural bias that we have to confront and get over, and that men have to understand that that’s just not going to cut it any longer.”—Hillary Lisa Kleypas Clinton, in an interview with Jonathan Capehart focusing on What Happened, her bestselling memoir of the 2016 election, in the Washington Post

“Romance novels are about wholeness and the right of readers (and all women) to be accepted and loved for who they are. To achieve. To be heard. To be imperfect. To get back up on their feet after they’ve been knocked down....This is why I consider you an honorary romance heroine—no pedestal required, just a pantsuit.”—Romance author Lisa Kleypas’ op-ed response to Clinton’s commentary, in the Washington Post

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“What’s great about liking Knausgaard is you can be sure there’s always more where that came from.”—Michael Pollan, “A Year in Reading,” at the Millions

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Julie Buntin “I’m tired of men, so I won’t talk about what they wrote in 2017, not even the books by them that I loved.”—Julie Buntin, “A Year in Reading,’ at the Millions

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“The real world is hard and dark...we seem to need both to stare with unblinking eyes at the reality of the hard world in which we live, and we also seem to need the comfort of those tales that we got when we were children that said if we fight hard enough and if we endure, we just might survive.”—Gregory Maguire, author of Hiddensee, on NPR

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"I need to see where the hope in this moment exists and by extension that becomes what the reader sees and feels.”—Jacqueline Woodson, author of National Book Award–winning memoir-in-verse Brown Girl Dreaming, whose forthcoming projects are the middle-grade novel The Dream of America and the picture book The Day You Begin, in the New York Times

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“The happy ending beckons, and we keep on hoping for it.”—Annie Proulx, accepting the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2017 National Book Awards

Megan Labrise writes “Field Notes” and features for Kirkus Reviews and is the co-host of the Kirkus podcast, Fully Booked. The photo above right of Lisa Kleypas is by Danielle Barnum and the photo above left of Julie Buntin is by Nina Subin.