Carolyn Chute Quotes

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Spend as much time as you can in silence. Look at the way the sun paints the ground gold.
Carolyn Chute
What poor people go through, it's amazing they don't do more violent things! If they'd just give you a little dignity, it might help you stand it better. They suffer no heat, no electricity, while you're working, but then you've got to face all the insults, too.
Carolyn Chute

Sometimes a manuscript is like bread dough. You have to abuse it.
I love people, but I don't do so well in a system. We're poor, and we lead a very different kind of life. We depend on other people so much.
Carolyn Chute
We need to stay together, to spread the truth like religion. It's a lonely, scary road, and we've got to walk it together.
Carolyn Chute
Sadly I don't work well under restrictions. I need to forget the world and its rules and laws in order to enter the dreamlike flow of the fictional world. So I may be in some bad trouble.
Carolyn Chute
Grave silence is far more powerful than the same old voices yapping away.
That's the way we see life: your community is your survival. And if you live in a small community like this, even the people you hate you have as friends.
Carolyn Chute
Sometimes a manuscript is like bread dough. You have to abuse it.
There's no writer's block; there's only distraction.
Today's world is very cruel.
People say, 'Well, why don't they get another job, why don't they pick themselves up by their bootstraps?' Well, the people that say that probably have the kind of jobs where they don't work that hard, so maybe they could have another job.
Carolyn Chute
When I'm not writing, I do a lot of research reading on the shape of civilization. Fiction can be a lot of different things… but I feel like it's my job to write about the way things are.
Carolyn Chute
Because school was so terrible was probably why I was driven to write.
Whenever I write, I write what I find to be the way people are. I never use any symbolism at all, but if you write as true to life as you possibly can, people will see symbolism. They'll all see different symbolism, but they're apt to because you can see it in life.
Carolyn Chute
When people do come face to face with each other as human beings, they begin to understand each other better.
Carolyn Chute
Every time I think I know what's right and wrong, I end up being wrong. All I want to do is explore. I want to see what people would do. I say, 'What would this person do in this situation?' and I write it down. I'm not writing manifestos of my political views.
Carolyn Chute
Your community is your survival.
I like starting projects in January. That's the best time to start something. It's so inward.
Carolyn Chute
My people are mostly underweight or overweight – however it is they turned out, like good bread. Bring back the hunched-over people… Bring back humanity.
Carolyn Chute
When I write, I just let my characters go, the way I let life go.
I never wanted to be a writer. I still don't.
When we go out in the world together, we don't get beat down.
You go through your life feeling like an outsider, and you respond to society in a different way when you feel like an outsider.
Carolyn Chute
We don't want the government to have anything we don't have, because government isn't 'We The People' anymore.
Carolyn Chute
People who work in factories or in the woods or maybe a dairy farm – for years, I've been fascinated with people like that. No pretensions. They just live their lives. I found them beautiful. They were all I seemed to be interested in writing about.
Carolyn Chute
It doesn't matter that millions read as long as you share it with somebody. So I don't really think about readers or editors. You especially should never think of editors – especially never think about reviewers.
Carolyn Chute
Today, somewhere in America, more foreclosures. More auctions. Another farmer plots his own death. And another. There is an art to making your death by combine look like an accident.
Carolyn Chute
I am a person who can't teach writing or make a living in any public way, as I get confused when interrupted or overstimulated. In a classroom or crowded room, I all but blank out. So my only income is from novels.
Carolyn Chute
I love a big book, but it's what most people like which makes commerce sing.
Carolyn Chute
I have lived poverty. I didn't choose it. No one would choose humiliation, pain, and rage.
Carolyn Chute
With upper- and middle-class lawns, there's more hidden, whereas with working-class or poor lawns, there's more out to see. It just sits right out there. Very honest. Like the people.
Carolyn Chute