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Kate Atkinson quotes

I'm a lapsed Quaker. I don't go to meetings any more. But I'm very drawn to Catholicism - all that glitter. I'd love to be a Catholic. I think it would be fantastic - faith, forgiveness, absolution, extreme unction - all these wonderful words. I don't think anyone who was ever born a Catholic hasn't died a Catholic, no matter how lapsed they are.

I don't have goals when writing books, apart from getting to the end. I have rather vague ideas about how I want things to feel, I'm big on ambience. I have a title, a beginning and a probable ending and go from there.

Fairy tales opened up a door into my imagination - they don't conform to the reality that's around you as a child. I started reading when I was three and read everything, but I wanted to be an actress.

Life is a very orderly thing, but in fiction there is a huge liberation and freedom. I can do what I like. There's nothing that says I can't write a page of full stops. There is no 'should' involved, although you wouldn't know that from literary reviews and critics.

My father was an autodidact. It wasn't a middle-class house. Shopkeepers are aspirant. He paid for me to go to private school. He was denied an education - he had a horrible childhood. He got a place at a grammar school and wasn't allowed to go.

Ethics are not necessarily to do with being law-abiding. I am very interested in the moral path, doing the right thing.

I think about death a lot, I really do, because I can't believe I won't exist. It's the ego isn't it? I feel that I should retreat into a better form of Zen Buddhism than this kind of ego-dominated thing. But I don't know, I mean, I want to come back as a tree but I suspect that it's just not going to happen, is it?

Alternate history fascinates me, as it fascinates all novelists, because 'What if?' is the big thing.

Certainly I had a really terrible time with 'Emotionally Weird.' When I finished it, I thought, 'I can't write any more.'

'Feminism' is such an incredibly awkward word for us these days, isn't it? Not to be feminist would be bizarre, wouldn't it?

I did feel when my mother died if anyone was going to haunt me it would be her. And she hasn't, so I think it is possibly the end.

I spent four years doing a doctorate in postmodern American literature. I can recognize it when I see it.

I've always loved mysteries, the something there that you didn't know, and with 'Case Histories' I just decide to make that more up-front.

If you don't have a unique voice, then you're not really a writer.

It's been said that the men in my books have been absent, or weak, or creepy.

Not being published would be great. When I say that to other writers they look at me as if I'm totally insane.

Probably not needing to be published would give me more time to think about a book.

The great thing about writing compared to life is getting to tie things up.

A novel and its writer are inseparable: you are your books. A play's not like that at all. 'Abandonment''s not mine - it's everyone's. I wanted it to be a co-operative thing because I was tired of that anal control that I have over novels.

Because I write fiction, I don't write autobiography, and to me they are very different things. The first-person narrative is a very intimate thing, but you are not addressing other people as 'I' - you are inhabiting that 'I.'