Apr. 4, 1997

The Sleeping Preacher

by Julia Kasdorf


Today's Reading: "The Sleeping Preacher" by Julia Kasdorf from SLEEPING PREACHER, published by University of Pittsburgh Press.

Twenty-nine years ago today, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while standing on his motel balcony.

It's the birthday of actor Anthony Perkins, born in New York City in 1932; best remembered for his role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller PSYCHO.

Bart Giamatti, baseball commissioner and youngest president of Yale University, was born on this day in Boston, 1938.

It's the birthday of author and performer Maya Angelou (I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS), born in Long Beach, California, in 1928.

It's the birthday of blues great Muddy Waters, born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, 1915. His song "Rolling Stone" inspired Bob Dylan's "Like a Rollin' Stone" and was also chosen as the name for the English rock group, THE ROLLING STONES.

It's the birthday of writer Marguerite Duras (THE LOVER) born in Gia Dinh, Vietnam, 1914.

Playwright Robert Sherwood, a member of the Algonquin Round Table, was born on this day in New Rochelle, New York, 1896.

Ballroom-dance instructor Arthur Murray, was born on this day in New York City, 1896.

It's the birthday of the inventor of the Yale lock, Linus Yale, born in Salisbury, New York, 1821.

It's the birthday of reformer Dorothea Lynde Dix, who crusaded for humane conditions in insane asylums and jails. She was born in Hampden, Maine, in 1802.

Quaker preacher and painter Edward Hicks (THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM) was born on this day in Attleboro, Pennsylvania, 1780.

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
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “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
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “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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