Oct. 19, 1999

Broadcast Date: TUESDAY: October 19, 1999

Poem: "If" by Rudyard Kipling.

's the birthday of spy novelist JOHN LE CARRÉ, born in Poole, England, 1931 as David Cornwell, author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and other books. He got his start writing spy novels in the early 1960s when he was working for the British Foreign Service, and took his pen name from a sign in a London shop window: British agents weren't allowed to print books under their own name, so he chose Le Carré.

It's the birthday of LEWIS MUMFORD, historian and urban planner who wrote architecture criticism.

It's the birthday of abolitionist politician and co-founder of the Republican Pary, CASSIUS MARCELLUS CLAY.

It's the birthday of FANNIE HURST, the novelist and short story writer, born in Hamilton, Ohio, 1889. She was raised in St. Louis and as a teenager started writing short stories, essays, and poems and sending them out to local papers and magazines. She moved to New York after high school and wrote back home to her parents in St. Louis that she was "in training for fiction." She worked in sweatshops and department stores, acted in small theaters, then sailed steerage for Europe. Of the dozens of short stories and novels Hurst wrote, her own favorite was the 1923 novel, Lummox, the story of a servant girl trying to make ends meet in New York.

It's the anniversary of YORKTOWN, the day in 1781 when British General Cornwallis surrendered his men to General George Washington in the port of Yorktown, Virginia, effectively ending the Revolutionary War.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
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  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
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  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
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  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
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  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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