Top 10 Susan Barker Quotes

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“Truth is often a multiplicity of perspectives, and sometimes the more viewpoints and versions of events there are, the closer the reader gets to an overarching truth.”

― Susan Barker

“My process for determining which eras I’d write about was to just read history books that gave a really broad overview of Chinese history. And when I came across a historical figure or a historical incident that was especially interesting to me, ideas for characters and stories would surface.”

― Susan Barker

“I wrote in coffee shops in Japan when I was 22, 23, before I had the stamina to sit down and write. I liked the buzzy environment; I couldn’t speak Japanese when I arrived, so it was kind of a white noise. It felt more sociable than being alone, but now, as I’ve developed a writing practice, I couldn’t do it.”

― Susan Barker

“There are many reasons I love novels with multiple narratives. In novels where the events are filtered through the consciousness of a single ‘reliable’ narrator, I often wonder, is this the whole story? What could be missing here?”

― Susan Barker

“My grandfather was originally from the south of China before he emigrated to Malaysia pre-World War II. And I wanted to learn more about the history of the country of my ancestors. I knew I wanted a narrative set in contemporary Beijing. I was really interested in the effect of the rapid social and economic change on ordinary citizens in China.”

― Susan Barker

“During the six years I spent writing my novel ‘The Incarnations,’ I lived in seven cities in four countries. I moved in and out of 17 different houses and flats in Beijing, Seoul, Colorado, Boston, Leeds, Washington D.C., London and Shenzhen.”

― Susan Barker

“You know, you hear about these writers reading ‘Lolita’ at 12. I wanted to be a chemistry teacher.”

― Susan Barker

“I feel uninhibited when I’m writing.”

― Susan Barker

“Most of ‘Let the Great World Spin’ is centered on the day in 1974 when Philippe Petit walked on a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center, creating an astonishing spectacle that intersects with the lives of many of the novel’s multiple protagonists.”

― Susan Barker

“It would be unthinkable to have a top-ten list of multiple narrative novels that doesn’t include David Mitchell. ‘Cloud Atlas’ is the most obvious choice, but I have opted for Mitchell’s slightly lesser known debut, ‘Ghostwritten.’”

― Susan Barker
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