Many people have told me that once they learn of Madam Walker's accomplishments they are surprised, even embarrassed, that they have never heard of her. But they shouldn't be. Her extraordinary story was simply omitted from the history books.
We all draw inspiration from women whose names make the headlines and whose stories are in the history books, but often our greatest inspiration comes from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, and friends.
I gave up writing children's books. I wanted to escape from them as I had once wanted to escape from 'Punch': as I have always wanted to escape. In vain.
I don't write books inadvertently.
My kind publishers, Toby Mundy and Margaret Stead of Atlantic Books, have commissioned me to write the life of Queen Victoria.
I am grateful for - though I can't keep up with - the flood of articles, theses, and textbooks that mean to share insight concerning the nature of poetry.
There are hundreds of books about Woodrow Wilson, but I have an image of him in my mind that is unlike any picture I have seen anywhere else, based on material at Princeton and 35 years of researching and thinking about him.
I'm more interested in books than people, and I always expect everybody else to be, but they're not.
I don't understand why, in my work, writing is always so dangerous. It's very destructive. People who write books are destroyers.
I grew up with that completely fictive idea of motherhood, where the mother never strayed from the kitchen. All the women in my books are very afraid that if they do anything with their minds they won't be complete women. I don't think my daughters' generation has that feeling.