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Suzan-Lori Parks

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

I went to one show, and I heard someone say, "Alisa Solomon is here," something like that, and I looked up. I knew she was the very much esteemed critic from the Village Voice, and then, as luck would have it, we were both on the same train. It was an empty train car, late at night. I can look strange late at night in an empty train car. Little did I know, she's a third-degree black belt in karate. I didn't know this. So she's at the other end of the car, and I'm like, "Oh man, here's my chance." Desperation. I'd go walking up to her. Little did I know, she's getting ready to Hai ya! Luckily, she didn't hit me, and allowed me to say, "Excuse me. You're Alisa Solomon. I'm a desperate playwright. Where do I send my work?" She rattled off some places. She was very kind, very kind, and we're still friends today.
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Suzan-Lori Parks

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Suzan-Lori Parks: Don't be afraid to go up to someone who's maybe further along in their career than you are and ask them for their advice. The kind of advice -- I mean, for example, I did not go up to her and say, "Hi. I'm a playwright. Could you read my play?" I didn't, because I knew better. I just said, "Off the top of your head, do you have any advice?" That kind of thing. So approach these people with respect for their time, but do approach them, definitely, because we all will say, "Oh, do such and such," or whatever.
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Linus Pauling

Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Peace

Linus Pauling: Well, back in 1945, my first talks were just pedagogical. I was just explaining nuclear fission. Then I began rather gradually expressing the opinion that the time had come to work for international treaties and international law to settle disputes rather than to use the barbaric method of war, made especially barbaric by the nuclear weapons. So, I was working toward the goal of a world without war. But, I didn't ever think that I would attain the sort of prominence in this effort that I have attained. The McCarthy period came along, of course -- 1950, '51, '52 -- and many of the other people who had been scientists who had been working on these same lines, gave up. Probably saying, "Why should I sacrifice myself? I am a scientist. I am supposed to be working on scientific things, so I don't need to put myself at risk by talking about these possibilities." And, I have said, perhaps I'm just stubborn. I don't like the idea. I have said, "I don't like anybody to tell me what to do or to think, except Mrs. Pauling."
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Shimon Peres

President of Israel

I think what probably Ben-Gurion found in me was chutzpah, you know. I was a daring young man, and I wasn't afraid of conventions, and I thought that we don't have a chance for conventions or precedents, so I worked day and night. I believe I was a hard-working man. I could have worked almost day and night, uninterruptedly. And then, he nominated me also to be the head of the Ministry of Defense, as I have said, at a very young age of 29. He was Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, so he actually handed over to my hands the running of the Ministry of Defense. And again and again, I mean, I didn't have any experience, but I have had views, and I was ready to fight for them.
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Shimon Peres

President of Israel

I know many people criticize Arafat for good reasons. He was an impressive leader of the Palestinian revolt, and a failure of the Palestinian state. I for one will never forget the courageous steps he took, and there is no occasion whenever they attack Arafat that I wouldn't come on his side and say, "Don't forget the courageous decisions he has taken." And I would like to mention just one. With all Arab states, the basis of our negotiation was the United Nations Resolution about the 1947 borders. Would we make it a basis for our negotiations with the Palestinians? Fifty-five percent of the land was to go to the Palestinians, 45 to us. So it wouldn't fly. Arafat agreed to the 1967 borders, which gives the Palestinians only 22 percent and Israel 78 percent. I don't know of any other Palestinian leader that would do it, that was able to do it and ready to do it.
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