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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Writing -- It's what you do

“Writers spend three years rearranging 26 letters of the alphabet. It's enough to make you lose your mind day by day.” – Richard Price

Price, a native New Yorker (The Bronx) who still makes his home there (Harlem), is one of America’s top contemporary novelists and screenwriters.  Perhaps best known for his books The Wanderers and Clockers, both also made into movies, he is celebrating his 67th birthday today.  Price's novels explore late-20th century urban America (set in New Jersey) in a gritty, realistic manner that has brought him considerable literary acclaim.  

He also has earned acclaim for his many outstanding screenplays and television episodes.  His award-winning movie The Color of Money earned him an Oscar nomination, and many of his others – Life Lessons (the Martin Scorsese segment of New York Stories); Sea of Love; Mad Dog and Glory; Ransom; and Shaft – all were highly praised.  On HBO, his works have included episodes of the long-running The Wire and the recent – and amazing, I might add – mini-series, The Night Of.

Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2009, he was the recipient of that organization’s top literary prize in 1999.  Driven to be a writer from an early age,
 he started seriously writing while in graduate school at New York’s
 Columbia University.
“I write because I write - as anyone in the arts does,” he said.   
   “You're a painter because you feel you have no choice but to paint. You're a writer because this is what you do.”

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