The great American writer E. L. Doctorow has died at age 84.
His books included the novels Ragtime (1975), World’s Fair (1985), Billy Bathgate (1989) and The March (2005). Among them, those four books won the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. During his life, Doctorow also worked as an editor at the New American Library and the Dial Press, and taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College and New York University.
Doctorow’s words of wisdom about the art and craft of writing are timeless. Here are three examples:
- “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
- “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
- “Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”