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Nadine Gordimer

Nobel Prize in Literature

Because we felt, "Who are these people who are banning our books?" And remember, I had got the reasons, yes, and one of the reasons was that a child is going around a church and there were pictures. You might have remembered if you read the book, there's an unusual Christ on the cross, and here he was dark, dark hair or something. And the child said, "No, that's not Jesus. Jesus has got blond hair," and so on. And so the parents who were taking her around said, "You know, this was in the Middle East, and it's very likely indeed that he was very dark. So not blue-eyed and blond at all." And this was blasphemous. For God's sake! Or in any of the gods'!
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Stephen Jay Gould

Evolutionary Biologist and Paleontologist

Any profession has a vast amount of tedium attached to it. There's no sense not admitting it. If you're passionate about it, tedium can be -- not exactly a joy -- but can be perfectly tolerable. The tedium of a pianist is 10 hours of practice a day or whatever, not all of which is inspirational. The tedium of an experimental scientist is calibrating the machines and doing it over and over again. The tedium of a paleontologist is poring over a microscope, or using a dental pick to chip away the sand grains from the fossil, or looking at the statistical figures in the columns of a computer printout. Every profession has massive tedium, that's certainly true. You cannot be a successful professional (without it). But I think if you're committed to it, as they say, it goes with the territory. It's part of the work. It's a necessary accoutrement to anything that's exciting.
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John Grisham

Best-Selling Author

A Time to Kill and The Firm, those books were written over a five-year period, back-to-back, from about 1984 to about 1989. The bulk was written at five o'clock in the morning, from five 'til seven in the morning. I'd get up and go to the office that early. And again, it wasn't any fun, but it was a habit. It got to be part of the daily routine. And I remember several times being in court at nine o'clock in the morning, really tired, because writing takes a lot out of you. It's draining. And I would do it for an hour or two in the morning, and get ready for court, and go to court. Be standing, waiting for the judge, and be really tired.
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John Grisham

Best-Selling Author

When A Time to Kill was published, it was an unknown author, unknown book, unknown publisher. There was no money for promotion, so I tried to sell the book myself. And I went to a lot of book stores in the Memphis, mid-South area and a lot of them had no time, you know? They didn't want a new author, especially one with a publisher they'd never heard of. But there were a handful who opened their doors and said, "Sure, come in. We'll try to sell some books, and we'll have a party, and we'll invite all of our customers."
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