Spend as much time as you can in silence. Look at the way the sun paints the ground gold.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When people do come face to face with each other as human beings, they begin to understand each other better.
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.
I like starting projects in January. That's the best time to start something. It's so inward.
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.
You go through your life feeling like an outsider, and you respond to society in a different way when you feel like an outsider.
We don't want the government to have anything we don't have, because government isn't 'We The People' anymore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love a big book, but it's what most people like which makes commerce sing.
I have lived poverty. I didn't choose it. No one would choose humiliation, pain, and rage.
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.