Art Works Blog

True or False: A Big Read Quiz

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, we’ve collected quotes from 10 of our Big Read authors. Your job? Guess which quotes were truly said or written by our selected authors, and which ones are not quite what they said at all. Learn more about all of the authors and titles in the Big Read Library at

1. "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." —Mark Twain 

2. "You have to wait for inspiration. You can’t go after it with a club." —Jack London

3.  "Moving vans at a distance have every man's wish on board." —Zora Neale Hurston 

4. "Show me a hero and I will write you a comedy." —F. Scott Fitzgerald

5. "Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." —Ray Bradbury

6.  "I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." —Edgar Allan Poe 

7. "I have a writer's notebook which makes everything worse than maybe it actually was." —Amy Tan

8. "Words are the only water we can really share." —Luis Alberto Urrea

9. "Ordinary things have always seemed ridiculous to me." —Marilynne Robinson

10. "If you want your writing to be taking seriously, don’t marry and have kids, and above all, don’t die." —Ursula K. Le Guin


1. True.

2. False. London was actually quite a go-getter. The real quote is “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

3. False. While the same can be true of moving vans, we suppose, Hurston actually wrote about ships at a distance.

4. False. Fitzgerald’s work has its comic moments, but he was far more interested in writing tragedy rather than comedy.

5. True.

6. True. Because cats.

7. False. While we’re sure Amy Tan has many notebooks, the quote actually reads, “I have a writer’s mind…”

8. False. We all need our water, but in this case, the nourishment in question is bread.

9. False. Marilynne Robinson actually has a greater sense of wonder at the world. She sees ordinary things as numinous not ridiculous.

10. True. We may not agree with Ms. Le Guin, but it is in fact truly her quote.


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