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A collection of thoughts and quotations by James A. Michener on ravel, humor, writing, character, persistence, and society.

40 Inspiring Quotes By James A. Michener, The Renowned American Novelist

Born On: February 3, 1907
Died On: October 16, 1997
Born In: Doylestown
Founder / Co Founder: Michener Center for Writers
Died At Age: 90
James A. Michener was a renowned American author who collated more than 40 novels. Majority of these books were purely fictional family dramas casing lives of various generations, based on specific topological localities. His novels such as ‘The Tales of the South Pacific’, ‘Hawaii’, ‘The Drifter’, ‘Alaska’ and ‘Poland’ have been chart toppers. In 1948 he bagged the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Known for his diligent research and study behind his novels, James A. Michener had numerous bestsellers which were also selected for the Book of the Month Club. Apart from his writing, Michener was also involved with various philanthropic works by donating funds to several writing, educational and cultural institutions. Various art museums and societies have been formed in memory of this legend. His works, and writings reveal his thoughts about several things. He famously stated “I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions” that revealed his passion for writing and we are still passionate about his novels, and thoughts. Here is a collection of quotes by James A. Michener on perseverance, ignorance, tenacity, truth,  knowledge, libraries, books, civilization, inspirations, God, humor, sex, religion, literature death and life.
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I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.

James A. Michener

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.

James A. Michener

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.

James A. Michener

An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.

James A. Michener

We are never prepared for what we expect.

James A. Michener

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.

James A. Michener

If your book doesn't keep you up nights when you are writing it, it won't keep anyone up nights reading it.

James A. Michener

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality.

James A. Michener

Writers turn dreams into print.

James A. Michener

A nation becomes what its young people read in their youth. Its ideals are fashioned then, its goals strongly determined.

James A. Michener

For this is the journey that men make, to find themselves. If they fail in this, it doesn't matter much what else they find.

James A. Michener

Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them.

James A. Michener

When this is over, I'm not going to be the same guy. I'm going to live as if I were a great man.

James A. Michener

A soldier lives always for the next battle, because he knows that before it arrives impossible changes can occur in his favor.

James A. Michener

We seek God so earnestly, Eliav reflected, not to find Him but to discover ourselves.

James A. Michener

This is not a promise, this is not threat, it's just the way it's gonna be!!!

James A. Michener

The dead are dead but they rely on us to fulfill their hopes.

James A. Michener

To have courage. To have honor. Is very beautiful.

James A. Michener

Unless you think you can do better than Tolstoy, we don’t need you.

James A. Michener

Only the rocks live forever, Gray Wolf said.

James A. Michener

It was his opinion that a man had to wait until he was dead to know the meaning of God, unless he happened to have known the sea in his youth.

James A. Michener

I wondered how a man ever got an English girl into bed. What did they do with her hockey stick?

James A. Michener

I have often been mildly amused when I think that the great American novel was not written about New England or Chicago. It was written about a white whale in the South Pacific.

James A. Michener

(I)f you did not read when you were young, you might never catch the disease and then what would be the use of living?

James A. Michener

Rampaging horsemen can conquer; only the city can civilize.

James A. Michener

A lot of nonsense is spoken about work. Some of the finest men I've known were the laziest. Never work because it's expected of you. Find out how much work you must do to live and be happy. Don't do any more.

James A. Michener

It is difficult to be king when the gods are changing.

James A. Michener

At last he found the branching stream that flowed down from Blue Valley, and now he was guided by the little stone beaver that climbed the cliff.

James A. Michener

This is the greatest evil that grows out of a wrong act. Somebody always remembers it…in an evil way.

James A. Michener

I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril. [The World Is My Home (1991)]

James A. Michener

Alaska did not produce supermen, but in its formative periods it was served by men of character and determination, and it is a fortunate land which knows such public servants.

James A. Michener

With my pen I have engraved warrants of citizenship in the most remote corners, for truly the world has been my home.

James A. Michener

How small he was and how wormy in manner,

James A. Michener

I live for the few minutes I can talk with a sensible human being, but every time I do, I feel worse than before.

James A. Michener

There is only one sensible way to think of the Pacific Ocean today. It is the highway between Asia and America, and whether we with it or not, from now on there will be immense traffic along that highway.

James A. Michener

Wherever a human being goes, there is a challenge. Be the best man you can, and your gods will look with favor upon you.

James A. Michener

It may seem contradictory, but in the languid tropics one spends more time contemplating those great good things of sound and sight and smell.

James A. Michener

The chance emergence of the was nothing. Remember this. But its persistence and patient accumulation of stature were everything. Only by relentless effort did it establish its right to exist.

James A. Michener