“Why do I write?”

“Why do I write? To investigate the mystery of existence. To tolerate myself. To get closer to everything that is outside of me.

If I want to understand what moves me, what confuses me, what pains me—everything that makes me react, in short—I have to put it into words. Writing is my only way of absorbing and organizing life. Otherwise it would be too disturbing, too distressing.

What passes without being put into words, without being transformed and, in a certain sense, purified by the crucible of writing, has no meaning for me. Only words that endure seem real to me. They have a power, a value superior to us.”

– Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words (coming from Knopf in February 2016)