Top 20 Quotes of Jane Gardam

While writing a novel, I don’t read anything new in fiction. I am too engrossed.

Jane Gardam

When I was young and the empire was beginning to disintegrate, the idea was absolutely unbelievable, particularly to children who’d been taught that the sun never set… that’s what all my books are about, the end of empire.

Jane Gardam

The best novel I wrote was one called ‘Crusoe’s Daughter,’ which never won any prizes. But I was getting somewhere in that. I’m not sure I have in any of the others.

Jane Gardam

Stories of all lengths and depths come from different parts of the cave. For a novel, you must lay in mental, physical and spiritual provision as for a siege or for a time of hectic explosions, while a short story is, or can be, a steady, timed flame like the lighting of a blow lamp on a building site full of dry tinder.

Jane Gardam

Only a great genius like the Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell can be mother, wife and novelist without solitude. I couldn’t write until my youngest child went to school, and then I began – the first morning – and I’ve never stopped.

Jane Gardam

Mum was a tremendous Anglo-Catholic. Very impressive, actually. She made me go to church for years – I still don’t want to because of that.

Jane Gardam

In modern novels, there is no one I want to copy. My style ‘is a poor thing, but it is my own.’

Jane Gardam

If I’ve got one thing that I really believe about fiction and life, it’s that there are no minor characters.

Jane Gardam

I was nearly 40 when I started. I had no fear that I wasn’t going to write. I knew it was just delayed. Then, my goodness, I never stopped.

Jane Gardam

I think the most dangerous influence for a young writer is to be treated with cynicism or discouragement.

Jane Gardam

I started to write as a child as soon as I could read, or even before, when my mother read me Beatrix Potter at bedtime. Writing seemed to me to be the only sensible way to live and be happy.

Jane Gardam

I longed from a tiny child to get away on my own. When I was five, I walked out along the sands from Redcar, nearly all the way to Hartlepool.

Jane Gardam

I knew I had a lot to say. Not politically – politics have always confused me – but perhaps spiritually.

Jane Gardam

I just knew I would be a writer. It just seemed the only sensible thing to do.

Jane Gardam

I hate the idea of sequels. I think you should be able to do it in one book.

Jane Gardam

I gave myself to my children. It happens to some women.

Jane Gardam

I discovered that writing was very nice indeed when I was very young, and I never changed. I don’t think my style has changed very much at all – though I hope what I say is a bit more interesting. It’s about getting to know a character and loving them, I think.

Jane Gardam

I can’t write the same book over and over again… let it go, once it’s gone!

Jane Gardam

For years, there was no man in the house when my husband was off on law cases in the Far East. Without writing, I would have been bored and unfaithful, maybe both, and the children would have been hideously over-protected.

Jane Gardam

English country life is more like Chekhov than ‘The Archers’ or Thomas Hardy or even the Updike ethic with which it is sometimes compared.

Jane Gardam