- Quote: “You are never stronger... than when you land on the other side of despair.”
- Answer: Novelist and essayist Zadie Smith has made a wide impact with her written work. Born in London in 1975, Smith now teaches at New York University. Some of her most recognizable works include “White Teeth” and “Changing My Mind.” Her work has also been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, and the New Yorker.
- Quote: “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.”
- Answer: The many works of David Foster Wallace include the 1,088-page novel “Infinite Jest” and “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments.” His 2005 commencement speech for graduating students at Kenyon College, called “This Is Water,” became a viral hit and contained many insights into his timeless mind. Wallace died by suicide in September 2008 at 46.
- Quote: “Do anything, but let it produce joy.”
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- Answer: Walt Whitman shows what poets can do with minimal words and a finite amount of space, which is not to say that he didn’t produce lengthy works. Yet Whitman had the ability to symbolize a great deal about universal truths in a single phrase. The above quote is from his most famous work, “Leaves of Grass,” which contained three long poems.
- Quote: “The Heart wants what it wants—or else it does not care.”
- Answer: Widely known as one of the greatest American poets of all time, Emily Dickinson produced a massive body of work, only a tiny fraction of which was published during her life. Her first published poetry collection, produced by colleagues she’d known in life, came out in 1890, though the initial edition suffered extensive edits. Her complete works weren’t published until 1955.
- Quote: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
- Answer: The author of “Self-Reliance and Other Essays,” among other books and collections, Ralph Waldo Emerson was first a Unitarian minister before deciding to become a writer. His writing admonished the values of religious conservatives, and he is considered the originator of the school of thought known as Transcendentalism. His work lives on and remains influential today.
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