I like using animals because they help suspend my reader’s disbelief. We have certain ideas about dentists. We don’t have many ideas about rhinoceros dentists.
A movie is so visually powerful, so overwhelming, that it tends to crowd out how you might have imagined things.
How do you live with evil? Art is traditionally – certainly with my secular background – the answer, but art is very self-referential, whereas religion claims to go beyond the bounds of human existence.
Cinema is visually powerful, it is a complete experience, reaches a different audience. It’s something I really like. I like movies.
The idea of a flip book still really appeals to me. That idea of fiction and non-fiction.
If you write genre fiction, you follow the rules, and you have to follow them because readers expect that.
I’m happy pretty well anywhere on this big, beautiful planet.
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.
The moral of a fable is eternal. The moral of a story is temporary to a story.
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.
My next book – each one while I’m working on it – dances in my mind and thrills me at every turn. If it didn’t, why would I write it?
I write slowly.
Cinema is incredibly concise.
‘Life of Pi’ was actually a very simple novel to write.
Most of us get our history through story.
I love Canada. It’s a wonderful political act of faith that exists atop a breathtakingly beautiful land.
You can’t quantify human pain the way you can measure out sugar. Death comes one individual at a time.
I can’t live for more than four years outside of Canada. I’m Canadian, so ultimately that is my reference point.
Words are much better at relating emotions and thoughts.
Any writer will be happy and good only if they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
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.
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.
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.
I find that movies tend to fix the aesthetics of a story in people’s minds.
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