Selection of quotes and comments on ageing, gender and creativity


  • One must find a language new and washed clean, and the things it is necessary to say require these superlatives. He was becoming a craftsman again, and took pleasure in that too; he thought of his desk and the novel he had been writing, and the thought of the words on the paper warmed him, and excited him so that he smiled involuntarily. (The Shadow of the Sun, 84)
  • He was amazedly, triumphantly conscious of the action of his pencil on the paper, and his fingers guiding it, of the action of his mind, now so completely directed onto his own structure of words and knowledge. And his face was stripped of all its vagueness, all its woolly benignity; it set itself keen, purely intelligent; in human terms even cruel. (The Shadow of the Sun, 271)
  • Cassandra did not look at him: she said, ‘It seems sufficiently clear – to me – that you can both destroy and create reality with fiction. Fictions – fictions are lies, yes, but we don’t ever know the truth. We see the truth through fictions – our own, other people’s. There was a time when I thought the Church had redeemed fiction – that the Church’s metaphors were truths – but lately that’s seemed meaningless. Dangerous, even, like any other fiction. We feed off it. Our fictions feed on us. (The Game, 225)



  • Sue Grafton explained to Barbara Peters during a television interview in 2008 that she doesn’t “like to be repetitive. This is why she later highlights that in every novel “function dictates form” and that she lets the story tell her how it needs to be told. (Criminal Calendar 7 April 2008)
  • Other times Sue Grafton remarks that the source of her inspiration is another alter ego of hers, Shadow: “There was one book, a good one, too, “J” Is for Judgment. I was writing along and hadn’t decided how to end it. And Shadow said to me, ‘Oh sweetie, you don’t have the foggiest idea what this book is about.’ And I didn’t. But I learned and it came out just swell.” Richard Ouzounian. “Sue Grafton talks Kinsey Millhone and Shadow” ( 11 October 2013)
  • About the special relationship between Sue Grafton and her creation Kinsey Millhone, the author told Connie Martinson during a television interview in 2011 that “Knsey is an extension of me, I consider her my alter ego” (Connie Martinson Talks Books 13 December 2011)



  • MARGARET – Ouch! Stubborn little buggers.

      GRAMPS – What are ?

      MARGARET –Grey hairs.

      GRAMPS -  Theys ay when you pull one, seven come to its funeral.

      MARGARET – It’s better than the dye bottle. Nellie Link says that dye concoction is pure ammonia.

      Peels your scalp  right off in chunks.

      GRAMPS – Margaret, if you don’t stop yanking out hairs, Gibson will think you’ve been scalped by an Indian.

       MARGARET – (Very displeased with her appearance) Have you looked at me lately? (She waits). Obviously not.

       My breasts are sagging, my  belly’s got no elastic left, my peaches and cream have turned to horsehide. (Pause) 

       How can I have all these laugh lines when I haven’t laughed in years. (Artichoke)

  • REGGIE: You don’t have children?

      HOLLY: (Defensively) No. My shop is my children. It’s pretty much too late, anyway. I’m forty-two.

      REGGIE: So am I! Tell me I don’t look it.

      HOLLY: (Exaggerating) Hey, man, you really don’t look it!

      REGGIE: (Preening) Thank you. (Amsterdam to Budapest)

  • REGGIE: And let’s raise a glass to Carlotta Sturges, Because, even when her wheels leave the tracks, and she’s off on a riff, she is, y’know, vital. She’s lived a life that’s rife with life... (Amsterdam to Budapest)