It had turned out that climbing a tree was more difficult than it looked. It was harder than warrior pose in yoga, than teaser in Pilates, than the elliptical or the Reformer. Rebecca thought that if no one had thought of it yet, soon enough someone in the city would spearhead a craze for tree climbing in Central and Prospect Parks, and it would become the talk of every cocktail party: have you tried that large oak by the Sheep Meadow? Oh, it’s completely changed my body.

Every story has already been told. Once you’ve read Anna Karenina, Bleak House, The Sound and the Fury, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Wrinkle in Time, you understand that there is really no reason to ever write another novel. Except that each writer brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time has ever had.”

[Commencement Speech; Mount Holyoke College, May 23, 1999]

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