Jun. 2, 1997

The Chambermaids in the Marriott in Mid-Morning

by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"The Chambermaids in the Marriott in Mid-Morning" by Maxine Kumin from LOOKING FOR LUCK, published by W.W. Norton (1992).

It was on this day in 1953 that England's Queen Elizabeth II was coronated in Westminster Abbey in London. The date was selected because weather forecasters said it was the most likely day of the year to be sunny; it poured rain.

It's the birthday of English novelist Barbara Pym (EXCELLENT WOMEN; LESS THAN ANGELS; QUARTET IN AUTUMN), born in Shropshire on this day in 1913.

It's the birthday of physicist and inventor of pulse radar technology, Robert Morris Page, born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on this day in 1903. The Navy's use of pulse radar was a significant factor in the Allied victory in World War II.

It's the birthday of English novelist Thomas Hardy (FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD; THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE; TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES; JUDE THE OBSCURE), born in Upper Bockhampton, Dorset, on this day in 1840.

It's the birthday of the United States' first First Lady, Martha (Dandridge Custis) Washington, born at Chestnut Grove plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, in 1731.

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
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show