Storytelling as the Search for Clarity

British novelist, essayist and short story writer Zadie Smith accepted the 2014 Moth Award at the annual Moth Ball Gala in NYC. A quote from her remarks:

I don't make up marvelous travels. I only try to express --as clearly as possible-- the thoughts and feelings many people have. (...) when I sit down with these subjects my aim is clarity. I'm really trying to clear some of the muddle from my own brain --my brain being a very muddled place indeed. Sometimes I think my whole professional life has been based on this hunch I had, early on, that many people feel just as muddled as I do, and might be happy to tag along with me on this search for clarity, for precision. I love that aspect of writing. Nothing makes me happier than to hear a reader say: that’s just what I’ve always felt, but you said it clearly. I feel then that I’ve achieved something useful.


Join my free newsletter and receive updates directly to your inbox.