Fiction writers have long turned to winter to advance bluer palettes, slicker surfaces, and sharper contrasts. The sky darkens, the wind picks up, and flakes start to fall. Horizons shrink. Couples bicker. Cars slide off roads. Obliteration tends to loiter between the sentences.

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

We live in a culture that venerates scores. We affix numbers to how much fat is in our mochachinos, how quickly our telephones suck information from the air, how much pain we're in. Reading, too, has become a skill to quantifiably assess.

Pretty much every night of their lives, my 8-year-old sons have absorbed themselves entirely in books. As toddlers, they pointed out pictures, made conjectures; lately, we find them in their bunk beds embarked upon two-hour comic-reading benders.

The most amazing gift about being a novelist is that you get to pursue your curiosity every day.

You need to be imagining all the time, imagining yourself outside the walls of your own skull.

Science and literature are both ways to ask questions about why we're here.

I'm terrified of cliches.

I originally got very interested in memory in high school when my grandmother came to live with us. She had been diagnosed with dementia. It was the first time I had heard the word 'Alzheimer's disease.'

I grew up in Cleveland, so my heart got attached at a young age to the freight train of sadness that is Cleveland sports.

'Research,' for me, is a big word that encompasses a lot of different activities, all of them based around curiosity. Research is traveling to places, or studying snowflakes with a magnifying glass, or excavating one's memories. Research is walking around Hamburg with a notebook.

For me it was perfect, because it wasn't a very competitive environment, and it was a studio program. They basically send you off, and say, bring us some work, and we'll help you improve it. It really rewarded self-discipline.

For me, the natural world is always telling big stories about humongous scales of time. And I often feel simultaneously terrified and humbled by those scales and in awe, and delighted that I get to be here; that I'm lucky enough, that we are lucky enough to get experience these things for the tiny finger snap of time that we get to be on Earth.

I do fish. I think there is a connection between thinking and fishing mostly because you spend a lot of time up to your waist in water without a whole lot to keep your mind busy.

That's the power of fiction, that it can take the collective and make it personal.

I guess whatever maturity is there may be there because I've been keeping a journal forever. In high school my friends would make fun of me - you're doing your man diary again. So I was always trying to translate experience into words.