Writing is.... being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment.” – Mary Gaitskill
Born in Kentucky in 1954, Gaitskill has authored several novels and numerous essays and short stories that have appeared in places like The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993 and 2006), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). A collection of her essays, Somebody With A Little Hammer, was published in 2017.
She chose writing as her career at age 18 because she was "indignant about things—it was the typical teenage sense of 'things are wrong in the world and I must say something.’” Her fiction typically is about female characters dealing with their own inner conflicts. And while her characters are often controversial, her writing style has won her many awards.
She said she’s always strived to write like the life that she’s lived. “My ambition was to live like music.”
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