Remembering E.L. Doctorow Through His Writing Advice

By Dianna Dilworth 

Novelist E.L. Doctorow has died.

To remember the esteemed author of Ragtime, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate and The March, we found some GalleyCat posts from when Doctorow received the Medal for Distinguished Contributors to American Letters at the National Book Awards two years ago. Here is  some writing advice he shared with us:

“The best thing you can do as a writer is to read, because it helps you understand your place and how you relate to other writers,” he continued. “When I was a young writer, I read Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March and it was a revelation to me. The freedom in that book opened up my mind.”

At the ceremony, Doctorow gave an inspiring speech about the opportunities and risks involved in the Internet and virtual worlds. Here is an excerpt:

Text is now a verb. More radically, a search engine is not an engine. A platform is not a platform. A bookmark is not a bookmark. An eBook is not a book. A cookie is not a chocolate cookie. A cloud may be in the sky, but it is not there to produce weather,