Thursday, August 23, 2007

Grace Paley

"None of it happened, and yet every word of it is true."

Grace Paley said that about her fiction, and I think it just about sums up how I think of my work, and how I hope readers will think about it.

Paley died of cancer yesterday. (Click here for her obit.)

I took a seminar this summer where we did close readings of a few of her stories, and boy am I glad I did. I learned so much from her writing about what makes a short, short story work: how the story can simply express a moment in time, and show the slightest change in the character at the end. In that way, I think that Paley's fiction is the heart of truth--after all, to paraphrase the Eagles, people change so slowly if they ever change at all. Best Blogger Tips


January said...

I've met her at a few readings and events. She was one of those writers I thought would live forever. Lots of energy and enthusiasm for writers and writing. So sad.

Thanks for sharing.

RB said...

I've been in a work haze and missed this news. Thanks for sharing it. Very sad. I think we should make bumper stickers and T-shirts out of the quote you posted.

TI said...

Always sad when one of the greats passes on. I've learned a lot from her work and will continue to study it. Fabulous quote.

Repeater said...

Oh, I didn't know that bug. Wish I'd taken that class with you. Nice quote.

Tori said...

I enjoyed her works...she lived just a few minutes north of me when i lived in VT.

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