Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes and always count their change when it is handed to them.

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More from Catherine Drinker Bowen

Will the reader turn the page?

I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more, as I grown older.

In writing biography, fact and fiction shouldn’t be mixed. And if they are, the fiction parts should be printed in red ink, the fact parts in black ink.

Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in the mirror which waits always before or behind.

Chamber music — a conversation between friends.