William T. Vollmann





William T. Vollmann

Author profile


born
in Los Angeles, California, The United States
July 28, 1959

gender
male

website

genre

influences


About this author

William Tanner Vollmann is an American novelist, journalist, short story writer and essayist. He lives in Sacramento, California with his wife and daughter.



Average rating: 4.08 · 21,087 ratings · 1,876 reviews · 52 distinct works · Similar authors
Europe Central
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 1,262 ratings — published 2005 — 21 editions
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The Rainbow Stories
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 685 ratings — published 1989 — 10 editions
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Whores for Gloria
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 616 ratings — published 1991 — 12 editions
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Poor People
3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 569 ratings — published 2007 — 10 editions
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The Ice-Shirt
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 506 ratings — published 1990 — 9 editions
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You Bright and Risen Angels
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 508 ratings — published 1987 — 6 editions
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Rising Up and Rising Down: ...
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 525 ratings — published 2003 — 12 editions
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The Atlas
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 438 ratings — published 1996 — 6 editions
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Riding Toward Everywhere
3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 448 ratings — published 2008 — 11 editions
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Butterfly Stories
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 405 ratings — published 1993 — 6 editions
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“So he lent her books. After all, one of life's best pleasures is reading a book of perfect beauty; more pleasurable still is rereading that book; most pleasurable of all is lending it to the person one loves: Now she is reading or has just read the scene with the mirrors; she who is so lovely is drinking in that loveliness I've drunk.”
William T. Vollmann

“I just make the best book that I can and try to not worry about audience or if it will sell. The odds are against you, so why abuse your talent for the sake of a chimera? The only real pleasure for me in writing comes from pleasing myself. What readers think is interesting and illuminating (and it may even be correct), but that is nothing compared to the excitement of seeing a world develop. Besides, even though I like most individuals I meet, I have a pretty low opinion of people in general. So if I were to write for people in general, I would have to drastically lower my estimation of the intelligence of my reader. Rather than doing that, I write the way it seems the book has to appear. I don’t think that’s egotistic. There are often things I would like to include in my books—things about me personally and other materials—that I feel I have to leave out because they aren’t relevant to the book. I’m fairly ruthless along those lines, because I try to let nothing come in the way of what’s best for the book. If that means that the book won’t sell or that a publisher won’t buy it, then that’s my problem. I’ll suffer for that, but I won’t let the book suffer for it.”
William T. Vollmann

“I studied Comparative Literature at Cornell. Structuralism was real big then. The idea of reading and writing as being this language game. There's a lot of appeal to that. It's nice to think of it as this playful kind of thing. But I think that another way to look at it is "Look, I just want to be sincere. I want to write something and make you feel something and maybe you will go out and do something." And it seems that the world is in such bad shape now that we don't have time to do nothing but language games. That's how it seems to me.”
William T. Vollmann

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