Mary Morris Quotes
“The late John Gardner once said that there are only two plots in all of literature. You go on a journey or a stranger comes to town. Since women, for many years, were denied the journey, they were left with only one plot in their lives --
to await the stranger. Indeed, there is essentially no picaresque tradition among women novelists. While the latter part of the twentieth century has seen a change of tendency, women's literature from Austen to Woolf is by and large a literature about waiting, usually for love.”
“He wrote all the time except during those late-afternoon hours between night and day when he didn't know what to do with himself. When work was over and the evening hadn't yet begun. He saw people going about their business, on their way home on the streetcars, walking with the evening newspaper in their hands. He looked at the dull gray of the city as it settled to dark, the clatter of dishes, children's heads bent over books, cooking smells -- chicken, stews, soups -- drifting into the street.
It was in the pauses, in the space between notes, in the slips and breaks, a kind of slow steady interval as if one thing could lead to the next. As if you could go to sleep and wake up and it would be a new day and somehow things would be different than they'd been before. But Benny knew otherwise. Life didn't get better as it went along. It got narrower as if you were walking through a tunnel that was closing in on you, toward a distant beam of light that kept receding. Life got slower and the pauses got longer. Benny didn't mind the day when he was busy, and he waited for the night when he'd go somewhere and listen or play if they let him. It was the in-between time when he felt lost.”
“THE TAHITIANS don’t have a word that means “art.” The closest expression in their language translates to something like “I’m doing the best I can.” Ever since I heard this it has become a kind of mantra to me. I try and apply it to my own work, to my students and anyone who shares his or her work with me. If we live with the idea of perfection, we will never do anything. The notion paralyzes us, but doing the best we can, this is possible. I”
- Description: I was born in Chicago and, though I have lived in New York for many years, my roots are still in the Midwest and many of my stories are set there. As a writer my closest influences are Willa Cather and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I travel as much as I can and travel fuels everything I do. When I travel, I keep extensive journals which are handwritten and include watercolors, collage as well as text. All my writing begins in these journals. I tend to move between fiction and nonfiction. I spent seventeen years working on my last novel, The Jazz Palace. I think I learned a lot writing that book because the next one only took three years., Gateway to the Moon. Gateway which will be out in March 2018 is historical fiction about the secret Jews of New Mexico. I am also working on my fifth travel memoir about my travels alone. This one is about looking for tigers.