“To get a line that is exactly right, you sometimes have to sacrifice everything,” he told The Washington Post in 1991. “That goes for being a celebrity, for interaction with people, personal comfort, everything.” —Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, remembered by the Los Angeles Times. Pirsig died April 24, at age 88, at home in South Berwick, Maine.


“I think being outside of an industry hub means that most people attend literary events purely for pleasure, rather than work. One major difference is that things start precisely on time in Bristol —I guess because there’s no subway to blame?—so it took about a year for me to stop being (un)fashionably late.” —Kate Johnson, literary agent with New York-based Wolf Literary Services, who now lives in England, in Bristol24/7.


Continue reading >


Patrice Lawrence “I’ve always been fascinated by choice versus destiny. I remember a teacher telling us at school that by the age of five, you can identify the children who will be troubled adults. Was that true?” —Patrice Lawrence, author of Orangeboy, a YA novel critically acclaimed in the UK, in the Bookseller


“You can judge a person by their friends, and you can judge a festival by their authors."—Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World, in the Columbia Missourian, on the occasion of the Midwestern city’s second Unbound Book Festival, headlined by Salman Rushdie.


“I had a doctor who writes for the Times, who has a teaching position and many books, tell me that she wasn’t ambitious, she just experienced a lot of Robin Romm serendipity....It’s not like you wake up and you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m a doctor! And I have all these books! And I teach and I also have a gig playing piano somewhere in New York.’ It’s ridiculous, but so many people didn’t want to call themselves ambitious, and I think that kind of says what you need to know about this project and its role.” —Robin Romm, editor of Double Bind: Women on Ambition, on facing rejection by potential contributors, in conversation with Camas Davis at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon.

Megan Labrise writes features for Kirkus Reviews and is the co-host of the Kirkus podcast, Fully Booked. Photo above of Robin Romm is by Anne Staveley.