Words matter. These are the best Hanya Yanagihara Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Anyone who has been to India – specifically Rajasthan, the rich and kingly region in the country’s northwest – knows that when it comes to adornment, Indians do not think like other people.
The beauty of a Moroccan riad is undeniable, but even the most die-hard fan may find herself growing a little weary of what can come to feel like a one-size-fits-all aesthetic: tilework, white Berber rugs, woolen tribal throw pillows in reds and ochers, cut-metal lanterns.
I wanted to write a story about colonization and about Hawaii. I went to college right at the height of identity politics, and that’s how I always read ‘The Tempest,’ for example.
When you have very lax parents, you tend to get more conservative kids.
Be aware of who in your life is actually interested in hearing you discuss your writing, and who’s just asking to be polite. Listening to writers talk about their work is often excruciatingly dull.
I’d be far too self-conscious and insecure if I suspected my editor might be a better novelist than I.
Every traveler knows too well the endless quest for the perfect travel bag: the one that’s stylish enough to carry through Paris, sturdy enough to tote around Peru, and – most important – doesn’t make your shoulder sag even before you’ve loaded it up with everything you need for a day of sightseeing.
Even before it opened its retail arm, Beigh was renowned among pashmina cognoscenti for the quality and complexity of the work produced in its workshop, a large, airy, sunlit rectangle of a room directly across from its second-floor shop.
Go to any Shinto temple in Japan and you’ll see it: a simple stand from which hang hundreds of wooden postcard-size plaques with a colorful image on one side and, on the other, densely scribbled Japanese characters in black felt-tip pen, pleas to the gods for help or succor.
The nice thing about publishing later in life is that you already know who you are. You don’t have to hang out with the ‘Paris Review’ crowd to try to make yourself feel like a legitimate writer.
Those of us lucky enough to fall in love with Asia know that it’s an affair that’s as long as it is resonant.
When you write a novel, you never have to be in the service of the reader. My only concern with my books is that the world that’s created be as logical and whole as possible.
I think Bhutanese food – long dissed by every food writer out there – has gotten a bum rap.
I don’t believe in post-racial or post-gay or post-anything, but I do think within a certain group of friends, what matters less is the specificities of race and sexuality, and what matters more is the shared experience, shared language and shared cultural touch points.
I think that all research scientists think of themselves as belonging to a grand tradition, building on work that has been worked on since the very beginning of science itself. Whereas I’m not sure writers think of themselves in the same way.
Publishing is a business, and I completely understand it. But when you don’t have to depend on writing for your identity or your income, you can do whatever you want.
If the only thing you knew about Oman was its location, you might never go at all.
Life will end in death and unhappiness, but we do it anyway.
The term ‘pashmina’ is often used interchangeably with ‘cashmere,’ but in reality, pashmina is a specific type of very fine, lofty cashmere, woven from a specific type of goat – one indigenous to northern India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and harvested and woven there as well.
I have never wanted a family. I don’t believe in marriage, though I obviously believe it should be legal for everyone who wants to do it. But it is not something I believe in, nor do the characters in my book, nor do any of my friends.
I always wanted to be a scientist. I don’t really have any writer friends.
I took a 51 day trip through Asia; 12 countries and 26 cities. I traveled for 51 days. So, it was everywhere from Sri Lanka and that all the way to Japan, where we ended it.
From 1999 through 2001, I was an editor at a now-defunct magazine about the media industry called ‘Brill’s Content’ that eventually merged with a now-defunct website about the media industry called Inside.com.
We think of the 1950s as an oppressive time in the culture, and indeed it was, but it was also in many ways a more secular moment, and one in which great scientific achievements flourished. I don’t want to get too gauzy about this, but there was much more respect for science as a necessary part of society.
The first thing I do whenever I go to Thailand is seek out the closest restaurant or stall selling mango-and-sticky rice: it’s a little hillock of glutinous rice drenched in lashings of coconut milk and served with fresh mango.
I love how Vietnamese cuisine always tastes like flowers, and how they had the ingenious idea of pairing that floral flavor with seafood: such a combination shouldn’t work as well as it does.
The speed limit on most of Maui’s highways is forty miles per hour, but my mother never went above thirty.
You see a virus very differently when it’s caught and suspended on a slab of glass than when you’re observing how it’s ravaged a fellow human being.
Friendship is one of our most treasured relationships, but it isn’t codified and celebrated; it’s never going to give you a party.
What makes a fulfilling relationship or fulfilling life is not simply found in another. It’s found in a group of others.
We imbue deserts and the tundra with menace because nothing, or little, grows there.
Kashmir, the 86,000-square-mile region in India’s north, both is and isn’t the India of the popular imagination.
Any frequent visitor to Hawaii is fixated on mapping how the islands have changed since their last visit.
There comes a point when you’re writing a novel when you’re in it so deep that the life of the novel becomes more real to you than life itself. You have to write your way out of it; once you’re there, it’s too late to abandon.
I think for a lot of people, friendship is a relationship that gets devalued once they move on to what people consider to be more important relationships: once you find a partner or when you have kids.
I wrote my second novel, ‘A Little Life,’ in what I still think of as a fever dream: For 18 months, I was unable to properly concentrate on anything else.
I think I passed up a lot of opportunities for love because I was too interested in identity politics.
I do have the sense that, although there may be no one way to write a novel, there are many novelists who are in fact part of some sort of larger literary community, whether in the form of a writing group or an MFA program, to name two of the more common forms.
I wanted to see how flavors, spices, and grains traveled back and forth along the Silk Road and were interpreted by a multitude of cultures’ palates.
Jaipur, like Florence or Kyoto, other artisan-rich cities to which it roughly compares, has always been known for its craftsmanship.
Sometimes we all work so hard to overcome various things, and we are very cruel as a society and tough on people who we think aren’t trying hard enough.
We think of writing a book as a process, but the very word – process – suggests that there is one: a template to follow, a map to guide us. If that were true, someone would have surely figured out some marketable method we could all buy.
I go to Japan every November on vacation, and the one thing I never return home without is yuba, which is the thin skin that forms atop boiling soy milk. You skim it off and either eat it fresh or dry it.
The process of being a writer is much more interior than being a scientist, because science is so reactionary.
My father was a research doctor at the National Institutes of Health in the early 1980s, and you couldn’t work in the field and not know about D. Carleton Gajdusek, who my father often mentioned.
Of course, no one has enough time to see every shop that Mumbai has: That would take more lifetimes than even the gods could offer.
What any writer hopes for is that the reader will stick with you to the end of the contract and that there is a level of submission on the reader’s part.
I live in Soho in lower New York; there’s tons and tons of tourists right outside my door step, obviously. Most of them are European, and all of them have guidebooks. I never see anyone looking at a phone.
Once you join the queue for the immigration line, pay attention to what the expeditor tells you. Have your papers ready. Don’t have your cell phone out. Take off your hat. Open your passport to the page with your photo and present it to the immigration officer already open.
So much of writing isn’t the fun parts like we get to discuss. It is sitting there putting the words down.
The original Grand Tour would generally begin in Belgium or the Netherlands before moving through Paris, Geneva, Spain, Italy, and perhaps Greece.
Sometimes, of course, there’s no quick way to make it through immigration: Different airports have gluts of incoming flights at different times of day, and short of rearranging your flight schedule to ensure you’ll land at a low-traffic hour, there’s nothing you can do.