Words matter. These are the best Mona Simpson Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
‘Casebook’ is my attempt at a love story. I had a vision of a difficult love.
Gossip is essentially storytelling: storytelling about people whom we know.
My first job was to run a concessions cart. Later, I found a position at the Pacific Film Archive. Thus began a long series of jobs, each one slightly better than the last, that continued for a decade, until I sold my first novel, and still goes on, even now.
I felt like any other American kid. I already worked at a steady job as an ice cream scooper, but I didn’t feel less in any way than my more affluent friends from school.
We have all these cultural assumptions about love. People get hurt, and we say, ‘Oh, it’s no one’s fault.’
The lawyer refused to tell me my brother’s name, and my colleagues started a betting pool. The leading candidate: John Travolta. I secretly hoped for a literary descendant of Henry James – someone more talented than I: someone brilliant without even trying.
We go to college, live together or marry, and have kids – often with little more thought to the daily routines of raising children than our grandparents gave them, when women by and large stayed at home.
The transparency men have enjoyed for generations, about their ability to frankly work while also reveling in fatherhood, is still complicated for women. Which is not to say that anyone can have everything.
When I was in high school in Los Angeles, my mother, who was a speech therapist, agreed to stay over the weekend with one of her clients and his little sister while the parents went away on vacation. She brought me along.
Often, I think, displaced people imagine themselves leading double lives. So a portion of my identity has always been privately siphoned into what would have been if I had stayed in Wisconsin.
The more you learn about animals and animal rights – it’s an intriguing, fascinating world.
I’m a simple cook, and there’s a lot I don’t eat. But food is important. It translates so easily into pleasure.
I’m a believer in using whatever works for fiction, but mostly, that’s not life.
I grew up as an only child with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif.
If a mother is sitting in a chair at the office, someone needs to be at home with her child. In some cases, that is a father. Much of the time, the material manifestation of the conflict is a nanny.
I’ve never felt powerful enough to write a true political novel, or deeply knowledgeable enough to draw a character like, say, Tolstoy’s Prince Kutuzov.
Once upon a time, my mother lived in the posh downtown of Homs, Syria. She described my grandfather as a king in a storybook, atop a horse, wearing a didashah and pointing a long arm.
I left the Midwest when I was twelve years old, and I haven’t lived in a small town since.
I grew up with a single mother, and although we didn’t have a lot of money, she cared a great deal about what we ate. We were the original health-food family. We shopped at what were called health-food stores before Whole Foods – everything came from bins.
Even more than we want good love for ourselves, we want it for our children, those vulnerable satellites of our hearts that we send, unsteady, into the world.
In my 30s, I wrote in the back house of a ramshackle Spanish Revival we rented across from the ocean in the Santa Monica Canyon. I wrote thousands of pages there, but in order to see another adult human being, I had to steal out through the brambly side of the house, along the driveway down to the street.
I do have food in my books. Different people eat different ways.
I’ve never had an exclusive relationship to a room where I write. I used to want one.
It’s a different thing to write a love story now than in the time of Jane Austen, Eliot, or Tolstoy. One of the problems is that once divorce is possible, once break-ups are possible, it can all become a little less momentous.
Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man, and he was my brother.