Maeve Binchy on the Importance of Writing in Your Own Voice

"I don't say I was 'proceeding down a thoroughfare.' I say I 'walked down the road.' I don't say I 'passed a hallowed institute of learning.' I say I 'passed a school.' You don't wear all your jewellery at once. You're much more believable if you talk in your own voice."

Irish author Maeve Binchy (1940-2012) made a very successful career writing delightful and sympathetic novels set in the Irish countryside. She was recognized in Ireland upon her death as the nation's most beloved writer of her generation. A major reason for this was her earnestness and "complete absence of malice." The quote below is her attempt to explain one of the secrets of her writing.


"I don't say I was 'proceeding down a thoroughfare.' I say I 'walked down the road.' I don't say I 'passed a hallowed institute of learning.' I say I 'passed a school.' You don't wear all your jewellery at once. You're much more believable if you talk in your own voice." [Wikiquote]

Photo credit: "Binchy33" by Jon Kay at en.wikipedia - Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less