Leif Enger - author of "Peace Like A River" - Speaks . . . and I Listen

Reading and writing . . . awe  . . . sublime joy. 

I attended the Family Literacy Symposium at the Provo Library on Saturday with my daughter April and enjoyed listening to an author I admire.  Leif Enger, author of Peace Like A River gave the keynote address.  It felt more like a one-on-one chat with someone who loves stories as much as I do.

Some of the insights he shared that I most enjoyed were:

"We need stories."
"Our lives are literature."
"We enter as minor characters in the middle chapters."
"If you want to get someone's attention say these words, 'Once upon a time.'

"Most of us see the chance of failure as danger.  But failure teaches us . . . things like humility."
"Some books will build you up and some will tear you down.  They are both your friends."
"Have you ever noticed that fanatics never have a sense of humor."
"Whimsy became necessary for my enjoyment of the world."
"As a child and teenager I was invisible.  Invisible people make good writers."
"We write and read fiction to understand what we think about things."
"Why is God so often quiet?"
"I never knew what I thought until I wrote it down."


arianne said...

Oh, jealous!!! I loved the book Peace Like a River. His prose is pure poetry. I'm glad you shared his thoughts.

Aden said...

I think my favorite quote is the one regarding fanatics and humor. It's so true. Some fanatics might have a sense of humor, but never about the object of their fanaticism. I think that humor is one of the best ways to maintain balance in a topic. Once you take something so seriously that you can't see the quirky side of your interest, you lose your ability to place things in context.