“I was lucky enough as a child to have had a mother and teachers who taught me that whatever happened in life, however bad things might get, I could always escape by reading a book. I was lucky enough to keep on meeting them – people who believed that reading and writing were the best things a person could do with her life. And to learn what Alan Bennett was getting at when he said that ‘for a writer, nothing is ever quite as bad as it is for other people because, however dreadful, it may be of use.’
“I became a writer not because I was seeking community but rather because I thought it was something I could do alone and hidden in the privacy of my own room. How lucky to have discovered that writing books made the miraculous possible – to be removed from the world, and to be a part of the world at the same time.”
About the Artist
Sigrid Nunez, a member of the Academy, is a novelist.
Commission on the Arts
The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.