I've never been a true fan of the short story and have only published a single example of my own.

I do mourn my characters. I wrote an essay once where I was sure that far back in a marsh there was a hummock - a little hill of hardwoods - and an old farm house, where all the heroines in my novels lived together with all my beloved dead dogs. I've discussed this with my therapist, naturally. He says it's okay in fair amounts.

You can be in terrible shape, and if you take a three-hour walk through the forest and along the river, you're simply not the same as when you started out.

The fact is, the media never gets off the interstate unless there's a major explosion.

After a lifetime of world travel I've been fascinated that those in the third world don't have the same perception of reality that we do.

Given free rein, our imagination can get infinite.

Short things are short all over and long things are long all over.

I think about the sentence a long time, and then I write it. I don't revise it once it's set down.

As a child, I was an obsessive reader, as was everybody in my family all winter long with my father. I think I was only 8 when I read Edward Gibbon's 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.'

How is it macho that I like to hunt and fish? I've been doing it since I was four.

I don't think it matters how fast you write. It's how long you thought about it. I like to think of it as a well filling up. I think about it until the well is full, and then I let go.

I should add that I very much enjoy certain cities especially Paris, New York and Chicago.

If all I did was pretend I was Wilderness Jimmy, I would go stale. You know, I fish maybe 100 days of the year and bird-hunt, but if I didn't go to Paris once or twice a year, I'd be crazy.

I don't feel tentative when I start to write. I've usually thought about a novel or novella for several years and created a lot of juice and density and energy by that time so by the time I get ready to go, I just let 'er fling, you know.

Your subconscious mind is trying to help you all the time. That's why I keep a journal - not for chatter but for mostly the images that flow into the mind or little ideas. I keep a running journal, and I have all of my life, so it's like your gold mine when you start writing.

I can write anywhere.

I can't stand the short story form, which, after all, is a magazine form.

I asked a French critic a couple of years ago why my books did so well in France. He said it was because in my novels people both act and think. I got a kick out of that.

The person that was closest to me growing up was my sister, who died at 19. She was an incredibly powerful girl, deeply committed to art and literature.

I enjoy about 1 out of 100 movies, it's about the same proportion to books published that I care to read.

Sometimes, discomfort is very uncomfortable. Anybody can get occasionally tired of it, and then it can change fast, where it's comfort that disturbs you.

I used to have this illusion that time and remote areas prepare you for the world. Our moms used to think that kind of thing. Well, it doesn't prepare you for the world at all!

Unlike a lot of writers, I don't have any craving to be understood.

Sometimes, I tell my wife I have to take a car trip and collect new memories - I like to drive around at absolute random for weeks on end through the United States and parts of Canada. Or else I feel trapped, like you feel when your life is completely planned for months in advance, and you think you're not getting enough oxygen.

Age focuses you. You are much better concentrated. There's more time when you travel less, don't do book tours, avoid interviews or public appearances. You walk the dogs, fish, hunt, cook and write.

I've always been very much attracted to a character that's actually free.

I grew up in an agricultural family, and I never distanced myself from where the food comes from. I think it's quite natural.

My favorite thing is just walking in the woods. I can do it for days on end without tiring of it.

The big curse of America, to me, is skinless, boneless chicken breasts. They're banal and relatively flavorless. The rest of the world's trying to get some fat to eat, and we're trying to ban it from our diet.

I don't know what psychotherapy does. I have been seeing the same person for 26 years now.

There aren't any real dumb people in my voices. It's always irritated me about Hollywood dialogue - there's so much dialogue that would just bore a Ford mechanic. This is not how people talk.

Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy... or they become legend.

Food is a great literary theme. Food in eternity, food and sex, food and lust. Food is a part of the whole of life. Food is not separate.

I like grit. I like love and death. I'm tired of irony.

The trajectory started when I was on the roof of our house looking out at a swamp when I was 19. I had written for several years, starting at about 15, but that day on the roof I took my vows and acknowledged my calling.

I've always been intemperate in my affection for food.

So when I made some money, I didn't have any idea how one handled such a situation because no one in our family ever had any money.

We pretend that the brain is binary, like a computer. But it's not. It's completely holographic.

I won't talk or deal with a young writer unless I sense he has utterly given his life over to it. It's a waste of my time. If they don't feel 'called' - why in God's name would you do this?

Yeah, but now suddenly - you know, universities are notoriously market oriented, too.

Because most writers have totally unrealistic concepts of how publishing works.

I used to get criticized for putting food in novels.

I wasn't taking myself seriously as a novelist, and then it became my day job.

I write novellas because I don't like loose sprawling prose.

I thought, frankly, that it would be more pleasant to write a memoir than it was.

Marriage is survived just on the basis of ordinary etiquette, day in and day out. Also cooking together helps a lot... I've seen all these marriages that failed. Those people are always hollering at each other. That doesn't work.

Success and money can really be quite blinding.

I had a concussion I didn't get over for three years. I think that's why I'm goofy.

We are all naturally xenophobic.