Richard Price


American Novelist and Screenwriter, known for the books "The Wanderers" and "Clockers"

Author Quotes

Writers spend three years rearranging 26 letters of the alphabet. It's enough to make you lose your mind day by day.

You can point out to people how to make what they do better, but you can't teach somebody how to be a great writer, just like you can't teach somebody how to be a fast runner. You can work on their technique, but either they're fast or they're not; either they can write or they can't.

You can't take a character anywhere they don't expect the character to go. But within those confines is where creativity lies.

You don't write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid's burnt socks lying in the road.

You took a terrible risk by driving without proper supervision, as a result of which a young child lost his life and his father was seriously injured.

The first thing to look out for after your first big success are drugs and screenplays.

The kind of event on a conveyor belt that causes a fire occurs in a variety of industrial environments, not uniquely in coal environments.

The only place a man can be truly handicapped is in his mind, and that a man who can conquer his own mind has got the world at his feet.

Strike experienced a moment of pure clarity: he would never make it out of here, would never rise above his current position as Rodney?s lieutenant, because all the intelligence and prudence and vision came to nothing if it wasn?t tempered and supported by a certain blindness, an oblivious animal will that Rodney had, that he, Strike, did not have. Rodney would survive all this not because of his guts or his brains, but because he understood that there was no real life out here on the street, no real lives other than his own, and that what really mattered was coming first in all things, in all ways and at all costs.

Strike said Huh again, thinking about betrayal, about how everything and everybody were just so much smoke.

The County Jail looked like a tall, forbidding elementary school. Seven stories of dirty brown brick, one hundred years old and now operating at 330 percent of capacity.

Rocco drove up the West Side until they reached the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Rocco loving them both so much that he knew he'd never tell a soul about this moment, just take it to bed with him every night for years, like a miser's secret stash of gold.

Rocco was gripped with the panic he often experienced around her, around himself. He seemed to be both here now and simultaneously five years in the future looking back at this moment, at the loss of this moment. He was always sliding past the nowness of being with her, throwing himself at her like a cranked-up insincere clown for an exhausting fifteen minutes a day or getting cozy with booze in order to achieve the proper mood, and from the time she was born he had felt he was on his deathbed, remembering with regret how skittish and slippery his time with her had been. Had been, as if she were a hard thirty-seven and divorced instead of a two-year old baby, as if he were eighty-six and senile instead of forty-three and slightly overweight.

Rocco watched Strike limp into the human slipstream of Eighth Avenue, watched him negotiate his way through lowlifes and taxpayers until he disappeared inside the terminal doors without a backward glance.

Saturday was a sweet and sunny day, the kind that made people think about getting it together once and for all -- health, kids, jobs, personal appearance, doing things right this time.

Someday, my son, you are going to learn that the two greatest joys of being a man are beating the hell out of someone and getting the hell beaten out of you, good night.

If I can tell you the story from beginning to end in five minutes, I'm ready to start writing. Then it's a constant spreading out of that five minutes.

If you're writing a book that takes place in New York in the moment, you can't not write about 9-11; you can't not integrate it. My main character's view is the Statue of Liberty and the Trade Center. It doesn't have to take over, but it has to be acknowledged.

In the beginning - not now, thank God - Patty was always sharing the important books of her life with him, like Black Elk Speaks, The Golden Bough, and Hero with a Thousand Faces.

It was time to chuck this life, with its Jo-Jos and Rodneys, its bloody burning children and walking-dead parents, just kick dirt over the whole show, like a cat burying its shit.

I've worked in the sustainable design field for 10 years. And I wanted to finally practice what I preach. This kind of development is not only marketable, it's a feasible way to promote sustainable design.

Joe Roth found out it was available, he wanted to direct it, he had the means, he had the studio. He said, 'I want to do it and it's done.' I think if it wasn't for him, it would probably still be sitting somewhere.

On the nights they went to bed at the same time, Rocco would lie there and watch her go to the closet, watch her choose either silky slips or mannish shirts, like running up sex flags from across the room.

I'd love to be a saxophonist. I don't know why, but I pretend I'm the saxophonist when I listen to music. I have about as much chance playing the sax as I do learning how to fly.

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American Novelist and Screenwriter, known for the books "The Wanderers" and "Clockers"