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  1. Most of us get our history through story.
  2. Books are something social — a writer speaking to a reader — so I think making the reading of a book the center of a social event, the meeting of a book club, is a brilliant idea.
  3. Reality is how we interpret it. Imagination and volition play a part in that interpretation. Which means that all reality is to some extent a fiction.
  4. I’m not a consumer. I hate buying clothes. I don’t have a mobile. I just don’t need things. I don’t like things.
  5. Any writer will be happy and good only if they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
  6. If a film project were available and the timing was right, I might be interested.
  7. In all big cities the style of life is the same. Same endless array of restaurants; same big museums with the usual suspects; same anonymity, which can be thrilling when you’re young but which I found got tiresome.
  8. I am not an autobiographical writer.
  9. The moral of a fable is eternal. The moral of a story is temporary to a story.
  10. A great literary work can be completely, completely unpredictable. Which can sometimes make them very hard to read, but it gives them a great originality.
  11. Cinema is incredibly concise.
  12. You can’t quantify human pain the way you can measure out sugar. Death comes one individual at a time.
  13. Words aren’t very good at describing complicated, strange visual things. You can try, and the reader will have some sort of image in their mind, but words aren’t good at that.
  14. Every book I’ve written has been a different attempt to understand something, and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want.
  15. Music moves me — duh — and that is like having a window opening on a heightened reality, but the effect is fleeting: When the music ends, the magic, the uplifting, vanishes and the window slams shut. Words, on the other hand, by the nature of how they work, emotions evoked by dint of carefully laid out thoughts, have a more lingering effect.
  16. A movie is so visually powerful, so overwhelming, that it tends to crowd out how you might have imagined things.
  17. It’s true, too, that I’m tired of using books as political bullets and grenades. Books are too precious and wonderful to be used for long in such a fashion.
  18. The idea of a flip book still really appeals to me. That idea of fiction and non-fiction.
  19. If you write genre fiction, you follow the rules, and you have to follow them because readers expect that.
  20. ‘Life of Pi’ was actually a very simple novel to write.

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