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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

'Because I Can't Imagine Not Writing'

 “I write because I can't imagine not writing.” – Richard Price

Born on this date in 1949, Price's novels explore late-20th century urban America in a gritty, realistic manner that has brought him considerable literary acclaim. Several of his novels, including the best-selling Clockers, are set in a fictional northern New Jersey city called Dempsy.  Praised for its humor, suspense, dialogue, and character development, Clockers was also made into a Spike Lee-directed movie, which got Price going on screenwriting as well.  

Among his top screenwriting efforts (besides that) was his Academy Award-nominated The Color of Money, and an Emmy Award-winning segment of the HBO series The Wire.  Not a writer to get pigeonholed into any particular genre, he also has written feature stories, magazine essays, and radio programs, and taught writing at Columbia, Yale and NYU.

“I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind,” he said when asked what makes a writer want to write.  “I write because I write - as anyone in the arts does. 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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